Letter from MPA President Steve Girardeau

A very happy spring to all my fellow Minnesota Psychologists.

A lot has happened since I last checked in with you all.

Our annual convention occurred on April 7th and 8th.  While attendance was down a bit and there were some issues with weather preventing our keynote speaker from attending in person; I think it was a great conference with many fantastic presentations.  Planning has already begun for next year.

Our bill with the revisions of the Psychology Practice Act made it through all relevant House committees and was included in the HHS omnibus bill.  Sadly, just today, we learned that the Governor has vetoed the bill, as it was presented, for a number of reasons stated in his letter (here is a link http://mn.gov/gov-stat/pdf/2017_05_12_Letter_Ch_45_Veto.pdf )  This does not mean our bill is dead, it just is referred back to the House and Senate with the rest of the omnibus bill.  We seem to be increasingly in a situation where a special session may occur.  In a related note, we changed our lobbying firm to William Amberg, who represented us in the past and who has been a strong advocate with our current legislative agenda.

We are also in an ongoing process of revamping our committee and division process.  This is to make better use of the human resources that are our volunteers.  We want to make sure that we are efficient and that all activities move the profession and psychologists forward.

You may also have noted email listserv strings regarding recent passage of AHCA and concerns and positions held by psychologists throughout Minnesota.  We want to be sure that all views are heard in a respectful manner.  MPA has continued to take a position of opposition to the elements of the bill that are of concern to psychology and psychologists.  We will continue to support a reasoned discussion with the understanding that we can disagree and still respect each other.

Finally, there has been a great deal of concern and a great many questions regarding the entry of Magellan into the insurance world in Minnesota as a vendor for behavioral health services provided through BCBS of Minnesota.  We are currently in the early stages of contracting, with many of you receiving contracts and not knowing the answers to some important questions.  Those same questions have been forwarded on to representatives at BCBS and Magellan.  When responses have arrived, information will be posted on our webpage, Facebook page, and Twitter.

Thank you for your kind attention,

Steve Girardeau, Psy.D., LP

Steve Girardeau, Psy.D., LP, is the Director of Clinical Services of Mental Health Systems, member of MPA Legislative Committee and Governing Council, and a member of APA, MPA, and ABCT.  He provides psychological services in residential, community mental health centers, private practice, and intensive outpatient settings with a wide variety of at risk and underserved clients.  He is the current president of MPA and training director of the APPIC internship training site.

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