BCBSVT Referral Policy

Submitted Legislation

VPA has been working with other health care associations and organizations on submitting legislation to prohibit insurers from imposing contract or policy provisions that penalize a participating provider if that provider makes a referral to a non-participating provider, such as the provision BCBSVT introduced this past summer.  That legislation has been referred to the Senate Finance Committee and the House Health Care Committee for consideration.

BCBSVT has revised its policy to some extent in response to our concerns, but we do not believe the revision goes far enough.  

You can view the relevant documents below.

YOUR ACTION IS NEEDED ASAP to let members of the Senate Finance Committee know that you support  Section 1 of S.309 as introduced.  This legislation addresses the insurer payment policy that holds referring providers financially liable for out-of-network referrals in certain circumstances.  

Contact Your Legislator

Senate Finance Committee (S.309):

Sen. Ann Cummings,  Chair

Sen. Mark A. MacDonald, Vice-Chair, Clerk

Sen. Michael Sirotkin

Sen. Brian Campion

Sen. Becca Balint

Sen. Randy Brock

Sen. Christopher A. Pearson 

House Health Care Committee (H.825):

Rep. William J. Lippert Jr., Chair

Rep. Anne B. Donahue, Vice Chair

Rep. Lori Houghton, Ranking Member

Rep. Annmarie Christensen, Clerk

Rep. Brian Cina

Rep. Mari Cordes

Rep. David Durfee

Rep. Woodman Page

Rep. Peter Reed

Rep. Lucy Rogers

Rep. Brian Smith 

Referral Policy Legislation Documents

Information related to pending legislation prohibiting insurers from penalizing participating providers.

Revised BCBSVT Policy (pdf)


S.309 As Introduced (pdf)


Prescribing by Psychologists with Advanced Training (RxP)

What is RxP all about?

What are the training requirements?

What is RxP all about?

VPA is actively lobbying the Vermont legislature for passage of the pending legislation for prescriptive authority for doctorate-level psychologists.  Under the RxP bill pending, the only psychologists who would have authority to prescribe psychotropic medications are doctorate-level psychologists with a post-doctoral master's degree in psychopharmacology. 

Contact your legislator and ask them to support RxP!

Is RxP safe?

What are the training requirements?

What is RxP all about?

The Vermont Office of Professional Regulation takes the position that the training and education required by the RxP legislation is equal to or greater than that required for other prescribers, and that RxP does not present any public safety issues.  In addition, prescribing psychologists would have to consult with either a primary care provider or psychiatrist before making any prescribing decisions.

What are the training requirements?

What are the training requirements?

What are the training requirements?

  • 10 - 11 years for bachelor's degree and Ph.D. or Psy.D.
  • 1 - 2 years supervised practice for licensing
  • 1 - 2 years for post-doctoral master's degree in psychopharmacology
  • 1 - 2 years supervised prescription training


     PLUS passage of national licensing exam

Are there restrictions on RxP?

Are there restrictions on RxP?

What are the training requirements?

Certain restrictions apply to the proposed prescribing authority:

  • Prescribing only for patients who have a  primary care provider or psychiatrist of record
  • Consultations and collaborations with the patient's primary care provider or psychiatrist of record to obtain a concurrence prior to initiating, making changes to, or terminating a medication treatment plan.

Who else supports RxP?

Are there restrictions on RxP?

Who else supports RxP?

Even though the Vermont Medical Society and VAHHS have been vocal in their opposition to RxP, other groups support this important legislation, including the Vermont Association of Naturopathic Physicians and OPR.  An out-of-state proponent has also weighed in on RxP with the Vermont legislature.  You can see that letter below


Pending Legislation


Electroconvulsive Therapy (H.25)

Mental Illness in Criminal Competency Proceedings & Commitments (H.144)

Transition from Corrections System into Mental Health Rehabilitation System (H.182)

Management and Prior Authorization Parity for Mental Health Treatment (H.169)

Learn More

You can search for legislation, find your local legislators, and discover the status of pending bills at the website for the Vermont General Assembly.

VPA Legislative Priorities

Prescriptive Authority for Psychologists-Doctorate

VPA supports and advocates for current legislation giving prescriptive authority for doctorate-level psychologists with advanced post-doctoral training in clinical psychopharmacology. 

You can find the text of the pending legislation in the Vermont House of Representatives here and the legislation in the Vermont Senate here.

VPA advocates for this legislation to increase access to qualified prescribers, increase the quality of care by placing medication prescription with the talk therapy provider, and reduce mental health care costs.

Rural Mental Health Care

VPA advocates for issues related to increased sustainability of, and access to, mental health care in the rural areas of Vermont.

Integrated Care

VPA supports and advocates for the establishment of more integrated care models.  "Integrated care" is the systematic coordination of  general and behavioral healthcare.  Integrating mental health, substance  abuse, and primary care services produces the best outcomes and proves  the most effective approach to caring for people with multiple  healthcare needs.  You can read more about integrated care at the SAMHSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions website.

Advocacy News

Medicare Reimbursement & PSYPACT

The Rural Health Care Task Force, of which Rick Barnett (VPA Legislative Committe Chair) is a member, has proposed to the House Health Care Committee that master's level psychologists and licensed mental health counselors be eligible for reimbursement under Medicare.  This issue is in the state legislature because of the Medicare waiver Vermont has received.

The Task Force also recommended the passage of the Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact (PSYPACT), which would facilitate telehealth across state lines.

Rural Health Care


Template for Email Supporting RxP (pdf)


Training Comparison for RxP (pdf)


Out-of-State Support for RxP (pdf)