The American Association of Christian Counselors is promoted as a trade association for Christian counselors. However, in fact it is the for profit business operation of Tim Clinton. The AACC doesn’t elect officers or involve members meaningfully in the management of the organization.
Because business is the main focus, one must carefully consider what AACC offers to members. Currently, AACC is pushing a healthcare program which seems to run counter to member interests.
Christian Healthcare Ministry is a cost sharing program which enrolls people to pay each other’s medical bills. AACC is pushing this program on the front page of their website:
Putting aside other concerns about CHM, a big problem for the members of AACC is that this program doesn’t cover (allow members to share the costs of) counseling or psychotherapy. That’s right, AACC is pushing a substitute for health insurance that doesn’t reimburse for mental health services. CHM apparently is able to bypass the mandated mental health coverage required by the Affordable Care Act and that’s just fine with AACC’s Tim Clinton.
In a long list of services and procedures (including pregnancy for “unwed mothers”) “ineligible for sharing,” this exclusion is listed:
10. Psychological treatment, tests, or counseling: Only emergency room bills incurred to physically stabilize the patient are eligible for sharing.
I am past president of the American Mental Health Counselors Association. I can’t imagine AMHCA promoting a service which failed to recognize our members. Actual trade organizations advocate for their members as well as for the work their members do. In this case, there is clear discrimination against mental health treatments. Why is this being recommended to a group of mental health professionals?
The recommendation of a healthcare option without counseling runs counter to another initiative of AACC. In the past, Clinton has promoted certification as a way to attract third party payments.
The BCCC credential is now for Clinical Professionals who are state-licensed mental health professionals and want or need this practice certification in order to:
give managed care and other organizational providers a respected credential—one that certifies both competence and ethical practice—that they are increasingly demanding in response to subscribers who want Christian counseling.
So AACC wants members to pay for a board certification to help gain insurance payments for counseling services but now advertises a service which doesn’t even pay for those same services.* I don’t know what Dr. Clinton is getting from this advertisement on the AACC website but I can see from the CHM guidelines what counselors and their clients won’t get. Since the AACC isn’t member controlled, there won’t be answers to any questions about it.
*In fact, no managed care organization I know cares about this certification. Managed care organizations require state licensing. In both cases, the benefit of the pitch isn’t for the members.
**Hat tip to Aaron New for pointing out the CHM ad on AACC’s website.