Last update: September 20, 2020
Updates made to: Quarterly Supervision Reports, Essential Business: Do I Need Proof of Healthcare Provider Status? Out of State Licensees Providing Telehealth in NC, National MFT Exam, and Board Meetings.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board has received many questions from licensees, applicants and students. We are sharing the answers we have at this time and will provide updates and information as the situation evolves.
- Office Functionality
- Mail & Submitting Materials
- Quarterly Supervision Reports
- Essential Business: Do I Need Proof of Healthcare Provider Status?
- Essential Business: Should I See Clients In-Person?
- North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services Guidance
- License Renewal
- National MFT Exam
- Board Meetings
First, please note that the Board staff is working remotely. While this may impact the speed of internet and delivery of mail and processing times, the expectation is that Board functions will be minimally impacted.
However, if you do experience a delay in receiving a response from Board staff during this fluid and unprecedented situation, your understanding and patience will be appreciated, keeping in mind that the Board and staff have responsibility for the safety of their health and family as well.
Due to an influx in calls from all over the country regarding telehealth, the Board is encouraging you to first review information available on the Board’s website, specifically the information on this page, and then if you have additional questions, contact the Board office via email, using our new contact form system.
Mail & Submitting Materials
As the Board physical office is closed at this time, no mail should be sent after March 25, 2020.
The new website will allow us to move more applications and forms online over the coming weeks and months to help expedite the submission process and to give you confirmation of receipt of materials.
While the Board continues to convert the existing PDF forms to their new online format, a temporary process has been created to help you submit forms and applications. Please visit the Temporary PDF Forms page for the directions and to access forms.
Quarterly Supervision Reports
LMFTA supervisors should send quarterly supervision reports (or updated supervision agreements), by following the directions and using the submission form on the Temporary PDF Forms page on the website. The Board will only accept these reports and agreements if they are sent directly to the Board from the supervisor’s email. Supervisors should copy the LMFTA on the email.
Essential Business: Do I Need Proof of Healthcare Provider Status?
State and local officials have no plans to stop those who are driving or who are safely conducting essential business per the guidelines established in the Executive Orders.
However, if you would like verification of exempt status per Executive Order 121, the Board has temporarily amended the additional information button on the license verification page with a brief statement and a direct link to Gov. Cooper’s order issued on March 27, 2020. Find your name, click on the link and print a copy. The verification, along with a valid photo ID, should suffice. Please note that this will be a printed copy of the web page with your information on it and NOT a PDF that you can download.
Essential Business: Should I See Clients In-Person?
This is a question being asked by many mental health professionals across disciplines. The Board cannot provide legal advice to individual licensees. The answer to this question depends on many circumstances and consultation with your own attorney may be advised.
Employees of agencies, schools, hospitals, nonprofits, and other locations, may also consult supervisors and human resources.
Students may consult faculty members, clinical supervisors, and site supervisors for guidance.
Private Practitioners, additional resources include, but are not limited to:
- AAMFT Code of Ethics
- Your liability/malpractice insurance provider
- Your landlord
- Information shared by any insurance panels you participate in as a provider
- Decisions made by other clinicians in private practice
- Changes and waivers granted for telemedicine at the state and local level
- Details listed in stay-in-place orders that may be issued for your location (many lists what services are specified as essential for that location)
- Information shared by the North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services (see next section for more info and direct links)
- Updates from your local state representatives and senators (many are updating their constituents on Facebook as the details change)
- Information shared by the Centers for Disease Control about the virus
Official orders and directives from government officials: Be aware of any differences between directives for the town where you live and the town where you practice, or any travel restrictions for clients travelling to your office. Emergency orders and directors are available on state, county, city, and town websites.
NC Department of Health & Human Services Guidance
The North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services is sharing information about the number of cases in the state, and guidance for schools, healthcare providers (including behavioral health care providers), long-term facilities, child care, travel, individuals, and more on their main Coronavirus page.
Select the icon Providers for healthcare and behavioral health care providers for information such as their PDF for helping healthcare providers prepare their workplaces. Recommendations impacting practice may change as new information becomes available.
UPDATE: Executive Order # 165 September 22, 2020, includes extending the provisions of previous orders (#116, #130, #139, #144, #152 which permits practice across state lines. Non-licensed MFT providers practicing in NC under the Governor’s Executive Orders must register with the NC MFT Licensure Board, using the registration process available on this website. Note: this is NOT a license to practice in NC, but an exception to state statute. The practice must cease when the executive order allowing the exception expires – new expiration date of November 20, 2020.
The practice of MFT must be in compliance with the Ethics Code and other laws (see notice below about temporary HIPAA violation waiver*). Some insurance companies, agencies, and workplaces have their own policies for teletherapy. Many have made adjustments, even if temporary, to allow for clinicians to serve their clients.
Due to the increase in telehealth services across the nation, many professional groups are offering free workshops to help mental health providers learn how to implement teletherapy in their practices. They teach both the technology needed and how to deliver techniques.
|Teletherapy Across State Lines– UPDATED 9/22/20|
|NC Governor Roy Cooper has ordered a State of Emergency for NC. Executive Order #139, effective May 12, 2020 extending the relevant provisions of #116 and subsequently #130 through June 26, 2020, extended by #144, issued June 5, 2020 through August 3, 2020 and subsequently extended by Executive Order # 152 to September 22, 2020 and nost recently, Executive Order #165 through November 20, 2021. NC health care licensure boards are required to implement processes to allow licensees from other US states, territories, and the District of Columbia to provide services, along with retirees, those who have expired licenses, students, and volunteers. The North Carolina Marriage & Family Therapy Licensure Board has more details, along with a form to complete to practice under the Emergency MFT Permit. |
Complete Executive Orders may be viewed at the NC Governor’s website https://www.nc.gov/covid-19/covid-19-executive-orders
From April 15, 2020 until Executive Order 139 expires, is extended (extended until November 20, 2020 by # 165), or replaced you must complete this form if not licensed in North Carolina as an LMFT, LMFTA or hold a mental health license that allows practice of MFT or practicing in an exempt setting as defined by NC statute.
RECOMMENDATION: If a North Carolina licensee renders marriage and family therapy services electronically to an out-of-state client, it is recommended that the licensee contact the marriage and family therapy licensing board in the state in which the patient/client resides to determine whether or not such practice or a similar provision exists in that state or jurisdiction.
*On March 17, 2020, the President announced that the administration and the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) are expanding Medicare coverage at the Federal level for telehealth visits, along with waiving potential HIPAA violations for good faith use of teletherapy during this crisis.
University Students & Telehealth
Students enrolled in university programs, who are completing practicums, should consult with their university and supervisors for guidance.
The university has jurisdiction and responsibility for enrolled students and for setting the parameters for their programs.
In response to the many people asking how they will complete their continuing education (CEs) required for this year’s renewal or if there is an extension for renewing:
- All CEs may be completed on-line, including the ethics requirement. The course must be structured (meaning a course with a test component) and as always, the content must be MFT or related to the practice of MFT).
- In accordance with current statutes and rules, the Board is implementing a two-month extension (until September 1). While you are encouraged to renew by July 1 if possible, this will allow those who had planned to attend ‘live’ courses the opportunity to sign up for on-line courses. There is no need to contact the Board to request the extension as it will be automatically granted.
National MFT Exam
For those scheduled or planning to register for an exam with the exam service, please see this link for more information from the AMFTRB.
The AMFTRB, the exam developer who regulates the policies and procedures for the exam has worked extensively to provide solutions for testing during these uncertain times and they provide regular updates to the Board and others via their websites (see links above for current information).
The Board will continue to monitor the situation and will provide updates on this page, and on the exam application page.
Applicants for the exam and licensure, please be aware that the processing time of your application may be impacted. Applications for approval to take the National MFT Exam received by 1st of each month are generally processed by the 20th of the month or next business day if the 20th is a weekend or holiday. Note: May and August graduates, complete applications received by the 25th of the month will be processed and notification will be sent by the 28th of the month so you may register with the exam service by the 1st of the next month (June for the July exam period and September for the October exam period).
Board meetings will be virtual for the foreseeable future. Remaining Board meetings for 2020 are currently scheduled for June 16, August 27, and November 19.