Colorado Music Therapy Task Force
2019 was an active year for the Task Force, and we had many accomplishments.
Medicaid Waiver Language:
Thank you to EVERYONE who supported new language on the Children’s Extensive Support (CES) and the adult Supported Living Services (SLS) waivers earlier this year. We now have “music therapy” specifically mentioned as a covered service in all 4 Medicaid waivers we use for billing.
The waivers include (CES), Supported Living Services (SLS), Children with Life Limiting Illness (CLLI), and the recently added Children’s Habilitation Residential Program (CHRP) waivers. The CHRP waiver is for children in the foster care system.
The CES and SLS waivers still lists Music Therapy under the category of Professional Services: Movement Therapy, but the language defining movement therapy specifically cites “music therapy” as covered, gives an appropriate definition, and states that music therapy must be administered by a credentialed professional. This change was due to many music therapists in Colorado reaching out to ensure that our voices were heard and change occurred! Currently, the CLLI waiver is under review. We are hopeful for positive changes with it as well.
We hosted a successful hill day in the Spring of 2019 meeting with many legislators about our work and future legislation to recognize our credential. This past summer TF members also met with Lieutenant Governor Diane Primavera regarding MT advocacy as we asked for her support and influence in future legislative efforts.
Our annual Hill day will be in early March 2020. Watch for a separate email with the exact date and time. Hill day is an excellent way to connect with other MT-BCs and practice your MT advocacy skills. We will have a reserved room again at the capitol where we can gather, and meet with legislators and our lobbyists!
Stay connected through email or like us on Facebook to get updates
SUNRISE REVIEW PROCESS through DORA:
Many of you assisted us in our Sunrise Review Application providing information for our assigned Department of Regulatory affairs (DORA) policy analyst. The Sunrise Review is the first step toward requesting regulation through DORA. Unfortunately, “licensure was not recommended” by DORA due to lack of evidence of harm to citizens. You can find our official report here. https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/dora-oprrr/node/143196/
Despite this recommendation, the Task Force is exploring our options in 2020 for a Title Protection bill. Title Protection is overseen by the Colorado’s Attorney General’s office and does not require DORA’s supervision.
Please connect with your legislators now as the legislative season is about to begin. Now is the time to build connections before we ask legislators to support a bill. You can follow your legislators, and Governor Jared Polis through social media…Facebook, twitter, etc. (Governor Polis is very active on social media, and we want him to hear from MT-BCs and our work serving Coloradans.)
Consider meeting your legislators for coffee or inviting them to observe your clinical work. These can be very effective methods for educating them about what we do and who we serve.
To find your legislators- https://leg.colorado.gov/find-my-legislator
LOBBYIST SUPPORT in 2020:
The TF requested funding from our national legislative team at AMTA & CBMT. They graciously approved our request--Thank you! We are hiring lobbyists Betsy Murray and Katie Wolf, from January 2020 through June 2021. We are hopeful that 2020 will be THE year to succeed with state recognition, but we still need your help.
PASA Status Reminder: Music Therapists can become a Program Approved Service Agency (PASA) through the state, circumventing the need to bill through individual CCBs. PASA status allows music therapists to directly bill the state’s Medicaid system, and most Community Center Boards (CCBs) require this, and others are moving toward requiring that all service providers get and maintain PASA status. CCBs are still required to do case-management and keep updated plans for our clients. Provided is a link to become a PASA https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/program-approved-service-agency-pasa
Campaign to END THE DD WAIVER WAITLIST :
Currently the NPO Alliance is working on 2020 legislation that aims to clear the wait list for the Developmental Disabilities (DD) waiver AND will link reimbursement rates to the consumer price index. If passed, this legislation could potentially give MT-BCs an increase in the state waiver reimbursement rates. We are following this advocacy closely.
There is an upcoming hearing at the capitol about this on Wednesday, January 22nd 2020 upon adjournment (we’ll plan to meet at the Capitol at 10am). Everyone attending is being asked to wear blue so legislators can identify supports of the campaign. We plan on having members of the TF in attendance. Please consider joining us if you can! Provided is a link if you would like to support ending the waitlist
Thank you for an amazing advocacy year!
We will continue to update the TF link on the CAMT website.
Please help us continue music therapy advocacy in Colorado and strengthen our profession. If you have questions about our legislative work, or would like to be involved in the Task Force please reach out and let us know. Amanda Bryant is the current chair and can be reached at:
Colorado Music Therapy Task Force:
Amanda Bryant, MM, MT-BC, TF chair
Maria Gonsalves-Schimpf, MA, MT-BC
Andrew Knight, PhD, MT-BC
Melissa Munder, MT-BC
Leah Quiller, MM, MT-BC
Rebekah Stewart, MA, MT-BC
Amy Wilson, MT-BC
Sara Wise, MM, MT-BC