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  • 09 Jan 2022 1:56 PM | Support Coordinator (Administrator)

    Hello all,

    Please see the below information on the No Surprises Act from the COPACT Board.

    COPACT: Info on the No Surprises Act & Good Faith Estimate

    NOTE: This is NOT legal advice. This is information from an ethics CE that COPACT is relaying to Oregon clinicians. There seems to be new/more information everyday, so be aware that this information may be updated. The forms from HHS/CMS are "models" or "templates" to be used and are subject to change. These are not definitive answers at this time, rather a guide on how to start understanding and implementing this law into your practices. As clinicians, we are currently attempting to make a good faith effort and there is no perfect answer.

    Yes, this is meant for LMFTs, LPCs, LMFT Associates, LPC Associates, etc., and not just Psychologists.

    If the No Surprises Act is news to you, please catch up here

    All of our info below came from a training by Becky Beaton-York, PhD & Ethicist from The Knowledge Tree and her malpractice insurer The Trust, who is not affiliated or partnered with COPACT or ORCA. 

    AAMFT has a blog post here.

    First and foremost, the biggest issue:

    We know that we cannot ethically predict how long treatment for a client will take. The Good Faith Estimate (GFE) is just a fee structure for a year of sessions to give clients an idea of what they’re about to spend, so they’re not hit with surprise medical or mental health bills that they cannot afford (hence, No Surprise Act). It’s a way to be more transparent about your fees with clients (yes, even though it’s probably already on your Informed Consent & Fee Agreements).

    Acronyms to know before reading this:

    OMB = Office of Management & Budget

    HHS = U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services

    GFE = Good Faith Estimate

    Takeaway & things to know:

    So far (and this could absolutely change, even in the days ahead) this is meant for clients who are uninsured or using cash pay/out of pocket (whether they are insured or not)

    Just because there is a grace period and it won’t likely be enforced until July 1, 2022, we need to start complying with the law and ethics of this ASAP

    If you don’t have a Tax ID number (EIN), it’s a good idea to get one now

    Ask each client if they have insurance or plan to use it for your sessions

    Your Good Faith Estimate (GFE) must be a separate document from your Informed Consent

    You must give any new clients and existing clients this GFE within 3 days of their next appointment/ASAP

    You do not need to give a diagnosis or diagnosis code on this GFE document

    If we don’t provide this form, we can potentially be fined by a licensing board

    Clients sign this even though it’s not a contract, and you’ll keep it in their file for 7 years just like clinical records

    You must also go over the GFE verbally with clients

    Use the existing forms from HHS to avoid pitfalls and fill it out specifically to your practice/work (OMB Control Number 0938-1401, per HHS)

    Your GFE with your client will include:

    -    A letter and 2 main forms:

    -    Letter: Model Disclosure Notice Regarding Patient Protections Against Surprise Billing

    -   Forms: Standard Notice & Consent Document with 1) Surprise Billing & Protection Form and 2) Good Faith Estimate

    -   Various CPT codes and their cost per session

    -    Estimate for 1 full year of sessions - do this GFE annually - if a client plans to attend monthly, create a specific GFE for them

    -    The estimate amount must be within $400 of the actual cost (cannot exceed it)

    -    Any time you increase your fees, you must create a new GFE for each client

    You will need to post this form to your website and/or in your office physically:

    Form: Model Disclosure Notice Regarding Patient Protections Against Surprise Billing

    Forms in other languages?

    The HHS has not uploaded forms in anything other than English unfortunately.

    What is next?

    There may be a Part 2 rolling out after March 31, 2022 from HHS and OMB.


    Training by Becky Beaton-York, PhD & Ethicist from The Knowledge Tree and her malpractice insurer The Trust

    AAMFT Blog Post

    Click here for a template for a Good Faith Estimate form *note that this document may have formatting issues

    Click here for a template for a Standard Notice and Consent form

    Click here for a template for a Letter to Clients

    Click here for a Website Office Disclosure Notice form

    If you have further questions or comments, please Contact COPACT.

  • 03 Jan 2022 6:28 PM | Support Coordinator (Administrator)

    Happy 2022, members!

    Many of us were surprised when, towards the end of 2021, we learned about provisions of the No Surprises Act (passed in Oct 2021) which took effect on Jan 1, 2022. The Act requires health care providers to supply any uninsured, out-of-network, or self-paying clients with a written Good Faith Estimate for health care services, either when scheduling care or when the client requests an estimate.

    Our professional code of ethics already stipulates that we must inform clients about fees and billing practices.  How this new federal requirement will apply in Oregon has yet to be fully explained. ORCA and COPACT are working diligently to clarify how this will play out for our profession in Oregon. 

    Stay tuned!

    In the meantime, the ACA has released a brief statement on the impact of the No Surprises Act on behavioral health providers, as has the AAMFT.

  • 22 Nov 2021 5:27 PM | Support Coordinator (Administrator)

    It is with the greatest sadness that the Oregon Counseling Association announces the passing of longtime friend and former board member Roy Huggins. Roy served for 5 years on the board of the Oregon Mental Health Counselors Association (a precursor to ORCA) and then as the Oregon Counseling Association's Technology Committee Chair.

    The company he founded, Person-Centered Tech, is a partner of ORCA and frequently sponsors our events, often presented by Roy. Roy had been been a regular presenter for our CE trainings and workshops focused on Ethics, Telehealth and the effective use of technology in counseling. He consulted on these issues both with ORCA and counselors and therapists nation-wide.

    A memorial page for the counseling community to  share and read memories, share and view pictures, and listen to Spotify playlists of music Roy loved and a GoFundMe supporting Roy's wife are linked below.

  • 15 Nov 2021 5:23 PM | Support Coordinator (Administrator)

    The 2021 ORCA Awards were presented at this year's annual conference in Ashland on November 12. Read more about this year's award winners below:

    The Leona Tyler Award 
    Dr. Teresa McDowell

    This award is designed to recognize counselors who have made outstanding contributions to the profession and whose work has had statewide implications for counseling. Dr. Leona E. Tyler was Dean of the Graduate School at the University of Oregon. Her many contributions to our profession, including research, writing, teaching and supervision of graduate students, attained both national and international acclaim. The award was established in 1967, and was initially presented to Dr. Tyler, announcing that in her honor an annual award was being established by the Association. It is ORCA’s highest award.

    Distinguished Service Award

    Tever Nickerson

    This award recognizes persons or groups who have contributed substantially to the Association and the counseling profession. This award is traditionally presented to Association members. However, non-members such as legislators, school officials, agency administrators, or others in the larger community may also receive the award for outstanding contributions to the Association. 

    The Human Rights Award
    Keely Helmick

    Dr. David Capuzzi, former counselor educator at Portland State University, established this award in 1986-87, during his year as President of the American Association for Counseling and Development (now the American Counseling Association–ACA). As a state branch of ACA, the Oregon Counseling Association believes this award is one opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to respecting and fostering human dignity.  The award is presented to members who have demonstrated an exemplary level of professional and personal commitment in the areas of human rights and the advancement of human dignity.

    Larry S. Conner Distinguished Public Advocate Award

    Charmagne Westcott

    This award honors those who have made outstanding contributions to ORCA’s public policy and advocacy efforts on behalf of LPCs, LMFTs, and all of the people we serve. This award may honor those who have worked to pass an important piece of legislation that advanced access to quality mental health care for all Oregonians, or who have effectively protected LPCs and LMFTs in the legislature, or who have successfully worked with government agencies on the state or federal level to enhance professional counseling and marriage and family therapy.

  • 06 Sep 2021 8:33 PM | Support Coordinator (Administrator)

    Every year, the Oregon Counseling Association takes time to recognize individuals in our state who have made outstanding contributions to our Association and/or our profession. The ORCA Board is actively seeking your nominations for the following awards: the Leona Tyler Award, the Human Rights Award, the Distinguished Service Award, and the Distinguished Public Advocate Award.

    The Oregon Counseling Association is pleased to announce that nominations for the 2021 Annual Counseling Awards are open now through Sept. 24!

    To nominate an award recipient or to learn more about the awards, please click here.

  • 08 Aug 2021 2:19 PM | Support Coordinator (Administrator)

    ORCA's 2021 Annual Conference, Focus on Family Systems, will be held this Nov 11-13 at the Ashland Springs Hotel in Ashland, Oregon!

    We'll be hosting an in-person conference this year along with a hybrid Zoom option. 

    Go Rogue with Us as we hear from speakers on systems supervision, queer relationships, working with high conflict couples, coparenting after divorce, generational trauma, and more!

    Keep an eye on our website and social media for more details soon about registration, hotel discounts, and networking events!

    Mark your calendars—we look forward to seeing you in Ashland!


    Please bring proof of vaccination.

    For the safety of everyone—you, us, our loved ones, and our clients—safety first. If you'd like to attend the conference in person, we will be requiring you show your vaccine card, which we'll check as proof of vaccination at the door and for which we will give wristbands.

    If you'd prefer to not show your card or you're not vaccinated, you are welcome to watch the conference live streamed on Zoom.

    If you test positive for COVID-19, please do not attend this event in-person; you may attend the conference remotely.

    We highly encourage wearing a mask at the event.

    Conference registration is non-refundable, but is transferrable to another attendee via email ( in advance of the event.

    If an instance such as a COVID-19 breakout or devastating forest fire occurs, ORCA will cancel the in-person event and will transfer registration to the 2021 virtual conference.

  • 12 Jul 2021 9:49 AM | Support Coordinator (Administrator)

    The Oregon Association for Multicultural Counseling & Development (OAMCD) is pleased to host the next webinar in our Decolonizing Counseling Series! July's topic is "Using a Disability Justice Lens in Counseling." We will be awarding 1 free NBCC-approved CE to attendees who complete an evaluation. Pre-registration is required. We hope you'll join us!

    • OAMCD Decolonizing Counseling Webinar: Using a Disability Justice Lens in Counseling, by Aarynn Cypher, MS, CRC and Nathaniel Brown, Ph.D., CSW-A
    • Friday, July 30th at 1pm
    • To register and view learning objectives and presenter bios, please visit:

  • 09 Jun 2021 8:33 AM | Support Coordinator (Administrator)

    Dear LMFTs, OAMFT members, and other LMFT professionals,

    The American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (AAMFT) decided to restructure their organization and no longer offer state-wide interest networks. Because of this, the Oregon Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (OAMFT) needed to dissolve and could no longer offer membership benefits. 

    The Oregon Counseling Association (ORCA) has represented the interests of LPCs and LMFTs through lobbying efforts, networking events, and CE opportunities. LPCs and LMFTs both represent the board and have served on the executive council for many years. 

    Last month, a unanimous and enthusiastic decision was reached by the ORCA board to announce efforts to welcome our colleagues. We are pleased to announce that in recognition of already paid, non-refundable dues to AAMFT, LMFTs, OAMFT members, and other LMFT professionals will be able to join ORCA for $1 for a one year membership! In addition, our Fall conference will focus on Family Systems Theory (dates & location TBD). 

    Being an ORCA member comes with many benefits. This includes advocacy and legislation efforts by the Coalition of Oregon Professional Associations for Counseling and Therapy (COPACT), discounts on CE events and our annual conference, free networking opportunities, access to a members-only listserv to help find referrals and resources, a free 30-minute consultation with mental health attorney Paul Cooney, and a wonderful quarterly newsletter with pieces written by Oregon clinicians. 

    Since 2010, COPACT has acted as the political arm of ORCA and OAMFT by retaining lobbyists in order to advance access to quality mental health care for all Oregonians. On a funding level, COPACT has been dependent on ORCA, OAMFT, and direct contributions from members and non-members.

    As more LMFTs join ORCA, we can continue our legislative efforts to support Oregon counselors, therapists, and our clients. This year COPACT reviewed 120 bills and was very influential in drafting HB 3046, which enforces parity, reimbursement rates, and network adequacy that will have long-lasting benefits to providers and clients. You can visit COPACT’s website to see some of the work COPACT has done and to make a contribution. 

    We encourage our LMFT, LMFT Intern, and LMFT student colleagues to join ORCA for just $1! The offer expires on December 31, 2021 so join us now for this low rate while also receiving all the benefits of ORCA membership! Your membership will resume to the normal ORCA rate after 1 full year of membership. Our membership levels are: Students and Retiree $53. Pre-licensed interns $82. Associates/Professionals $111, and $106 for that level’s auto-renewal. 

    To all AAMFT members—while OAMFT is no longer a part of AAMFT, we know many members will want to continue their membership with AAMFT, and we applaud that.  Family Team is the advocacy aspect of AAMFT, and if you wish to work on legislative issues through AAMFT, we encourage you to email Steve Rodgers, at and let him know.  

    You can also join ORCA on Facebook and Instagram!

    Thank you and welcome to ORCA.

    Jeffrey Christensen, LPC | ORCA President-Elect

    Steve Rodgers, LMFT | Past OAMFT Chair

    Tever Nickerson, LPC | ORCA President

    Gianna Russo-Mitma, LMFT | OACES President, ORCA Past President 

    Larry Conner, LPC | COPACT President

    AndreaWright Johnston, LMFT | COPACT President Elect 

  • 30 Mar 2021 9:10 AM | Support Coordinator (Administrator)

    The Oregon Counseling Association is deeply heartbroken by the hate crimes committed against Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander communities, which have risen drastically during the last year and which were called into sharp focus this week by the murders in Atlanta. 

    ORCA and our affiliated divisions mourn this tragedy—and we unequivocally denounce these acts of white supremacy. 

    We stand in solidarity with our Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander communities and colleagues who continue to experience senseless acts of racism, oppression, and trauma. 

    ORCA and our divisions will continue to confront racism by challenging social injustices in our communities and profession, practicing anti-racism inside and outside of sessions, continuing to fight oppression on all system levels, and working toward sustainable change with our educational events and advocacy work. 

    We hope you join this fight as well-- here are some helpful resources to start or continue your anti-racism work and advocacy to stop Asian hate: 

    Boston College Racial Trauma Toolkit 

    The Racial Healing Handbook by Anneliese A. Singh, PhD, LPC

    Stop AAPI Hate 

    Asian Law Caucus 

    Powell’s Books reading recommendations 

    Here are some helpful resources for folks within the AAPI community:

    Asian Mental Health Collective 

    Subtle Asian Mental Health Facebook group 

    Please provide support, empowerment, healing, and a listening ear to what folks are going through. 

    We see you and we stand with you. Please take good care of yourselves and each other.

  • 11 Jan 2021 9:42 AM | Support Coordinator (Administrator)

    ORCA is committed to sharing the latest information about the COVID-19 pandemic—particularly around access to vaccinations for counselors and therapists. To that end, please see Copact's dedicated vaccination webpage for the latest info.

    Rep. Earl Blumenauer's office has compiled an extensive list of resources to help people affected by COVID-19. The resources include ones for food access/resources, shelter, utilities/rent, businesses/workers, tenants/landlords, college students, resources in Spanish, and more. We are grateful to Rep. Blumenauer and his staff for generously sharing this resource list

    It is a viewable/downloadable Google Sheet and updated frequently. Click this link or the image below to view the resource list.


The Oregon Counseling Association is a 501(c)(6) tax-exempt trade association.

Join our Google Group Listserv (ORCA members only)

Oregon Counseling Association 
(503) 722-7119 
PO Box 2163 Portland, OR 97208

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