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S.F. No. 1481 - Mental health services payment and payment denial clarification
Author: Senator Jerry Relph
Prepared By: Patrick Hauswald, Senate Counsel (651/296-5079)
Date: March 4, 2019


S.F. No. 1481 clarifies health coverage for services provided by mental health trainees, requires involvement of a mental health professional in denial of coverage for mental health services, makes certain medical education programs eligible for MERC funding, and permits grants for traditional healing services in American Indian communities.

Section 1 (62A.15, subdivision 3c) requires health carriers to cover mental health services provided by a clinical trainee to the extent the service is within the trainee's scope of practice.

Section 2 (62A.15, subdivision 4) specifies that a denial of payment claim determination that involves the appropriateness, quality, or utilization of mental health services provided by a licensed mental health professional or a clinical trainee must be made by, under the direction of, or subject to review by a licensed mental health professional.

Sections 3 and 4 (62J.692) adds teaching institutions that train marriage and family therapists or professional clinical counselors to the definition of a clinical medical education program, making them eligible for funds under the Medical Education and Research Costs (MERC) program.

Section 5 (144.1506, subdivision 2) states that primary care residency programs that are eligible for the primary care residency grant program, that are longer than three years, may receive training grants for the duration of the residency, not exceeding $100,000 per residency slot per year.

Section 6 (245.464, subdivision 4) directs the commissioner of human services to create a mechanism and criteria to award funds to mental health service providers committed to providing students with formal supervised experience opportunities focused on evidence-based treatment interventions in counseling, psychology, or a related mental health field.

Section 7 (245.4661, subdivision 9) authorizes that traditional healing for American Indian populations is eligible for grant funding.

Section 8 requests the University of Minnesota Board of Regents to develop a clinical mental health training program in outpatient child psychiatric care clinics for pediatric residents.

Section 9 makes three appropriations. First is a onetime appropriation of $350,000 to the University of Minnesota Board of Regents to develop the mental health training program for pediatric residents. Second is an ongoing appropriation of $3,000,000 to the commissioner of health for health professional loan forgiveness, with $300,000 specifically intended for mental health professionals practicing in underserved urban communities in clinics where at least half the clients are covered by medical assistance. Third is an ongoing appropriation for grants to fund traditional healing for American Indian populations.

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