[HEALTH.MIL] TRICARE Increases Access to Qualified Mental Health Counselors

  • From: HEALTH.MIL@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • To: <HEALTH.MIL@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 18 Jul 2014 10:29:05 -0500

TRICARE Increases Access to Qualified Mental Health Counselors 


The TRICARE mental health benefit just got bigger. Beneficiaries can now choose
between two qualified mental health counselor types: independently practicing
TRICARE Certified Mental Health Counselors (TCMHC) and Supervised Mental Health
Counselors (SMHC).

TRICARE will authorize TCMHCs as independent providers who meet specific
qualification criteria. They must have a master's degree from a mental health
counseling program accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and
Related Education Programs (CACREP) and pass the National Clinical Mental Health
Counseling Examination (NCMHCE) by Jan. 1, 2017. TCMHCs can independently treat
TRICARE beneficiaries as well as oversee SMHCs. SMHCs will continue to practice
under the referral and supervision of TRICARE-authorized physicians while
getting the required 3,000 hours of post-master's clinical practice to become a

Some beneficiaries may worry they won't be able to continue seeing their current
mental health care provider under this new guidance. "This does not have to be a
concern," says Patricia G. Moseley, Ph.D., military child and family behavioral
health senior policy analyst at the Defense Health Agency. "Providers have an
extended time period to gain the necessary credentials to become authorized for
independent practice under TRICARE, if they aren't already. This rule gives
providers more time to meet the requirements and allows beneficiaries to keep
their current Supervised Mental Health Counselors." 

The Defense Health Agency is tasked with making military medicine stronger,
better and more relevant for the future. This change moves us one step closer to
that goal, ensuring the availability of well-qualified, independent providers
for our beneficiaries. For more information about TRICARE mental health
coverage, visit  <http://www.tricare.mil/mentalhealth>

SOURCE:  TRICARE News Release at



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