Texas Association of Psychological Associates
Representing All Masters-Degreed Psychology Professionals in Texas

FAQs - 2018
T.A.P.A.
P.O. Box 601374
Dallas, TX 75360

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Frequently Asked Questions

We have heard from many of you who have questions, and there are many questions that will need answers now and in the future. These are some of the most frequent questions so far. We anticipate more FAQs and responses in the future

Q. I believe I qualify for independent practice, but have not received my new license. Why?
A. You will need to contact the TSBEP to see why. There may have been an error in their database, or it may have been mis-delivered, or there may be other reasons. The TSBEP sent them out, so they will know.

Q. I contacted the TSBEP and was told that my license was delinquent because I was late renewing. However, I renewed within a few weeks and was never notified my license was delinquent, so wasn't it active?
A.
No. The rules require licensees to renew their licenses in a timely manner.  Your license goes delinquent if you do not renew by the last day of your birth month.  It does not matter that you renewed and paid the late fee before you were notified of a delinquent license; it was still delinquent.
Q. What should I do?  Does that mean I cannot get a license with Independent Practice?
A. The good news is that you can apply for a License with Independent Practice using the Application for the LPA License With Independent Practice on the TSBEP website under Forms.

Q. I am an LPA, but do not have the necessary years of experience yet, what should I do?
A. The Application for the LPA License With Independent Practice has been posted on the TSBEP website under Forms. There are NO additional requirements other than obtaining the necessary years of supervised experience.

Q. Are there limitations on the services I may provide my clients.
A.
Yes and No. There are NO limitations on your scope of practice in the Psychology Act or in the Rules, OTHER THAN that you work in your area of competence. You must work in those areas in which you have training and experience. LPAs work in many different places and with clients with a variety of disabilities and/or disorders, so there is NO one set of approved services.

You may work with any client and provide any service if you are competent to do so. The ONLY exceptions are that LPAs may not conduct child custody or adoptions evaluations, competency or insanity evaluations, or fitness for duty evaluations for law enforcement personnel. These restrictions appear in the laws governing each of these areas.

Q. How do I receive third-party payments?
A. Each third-party Payor, Medicaid, each insurance company, each HMO, Tri-care, etc. has its own set of requirements and process for approval. Many have more information on their websites, including the application for approval. If any of them ask for verification of your independent status, refer them to the TSBEP website or send them a copy of our statement, dated December 1, here.

If you do not already have an NPI [National Provider Identifier], you likely will need to apply for one. A National Provider Identifier or NPI is a unique 10-digit identification number issued to health care providers in the United States by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). You will need it to use on claim forms submitted to payors. You can apply at https://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Administrative-Simplification/NationalProvIdentStand/apply.html

Q. Can I bill Medicaid?
A
. Not yet. This is NOT automatic just because we have independent practice. Our Lobbyist/Consultant is working in Austin to determine what is necessary to become independent Providers. Many of us have been listed as providers under supervision. The application is on the Texas Medicaid and Healthcare Partnership website, http://tmhp.com/Pages/ProviderEnrollment/PE_Home.aspx/

We will let you know, if we have more information.

Q. If I cannot bill for myself, may my Supervisor continue to bill for me?
A.
Yes. The Medicaid Rules have NOT changed. Until they do, the current rules still apply. Your supervisor may continue to bill for you as long as you are continuing to work for him.

There is nothing in the new LPA Rules that say an LPA cannot work under supervision if they wish to continue to do so.

Q. What about the state agencies, DADS, Community Mental Health Centers, Juvenile Justice, Probation, etc.?
A
. Some of you may remember that many LPAs worked in these agencies prior to their shifts in funding. Now that we may practice independently, jobs in these agencies should be open to us. Our Lobbyist/Consultant in Austin also is looking into some of these agencies.

However, if any of you have applied and have been hired by one of these agencies or have met specific resistance because you are an LPA, please email us here. We want to remove roadblocks for employment for LPAs, and we want to share information among LPAs to avoid having LPAs re-invent the wheel in different part of the state.

Q. Can I be reimbursed by Medicare?
A.
Not to our knowledge. Unlike Medicaid which is administered by each state which may make adjustments appropriate to the state, Medicare is administered federally, and limits providers to Licensed Clinical Psychologists (PhD) and Social Workers. While that may change in the future, it has not changed since Medicare was first adopted.

Q. What can I do to help?
A. Join TAPA!
We are working on your behalf. See the information in the column on the left on how to join by check or by PayPal. We'd like to have you as a Member! Thank you to those of you who have joined!