The Coalition of Oregon Professional Associations for Counseling and Therapy (COPACT) is an organization that works on behalf of all LPCs, LMFTs, registered interns and students in counseling and marriage and family therapy programs by pursuing the passage of legislation that promotes and protects our professions and our clients. 

COPACT is an extension of two professional organizations: the  Oregon Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and the  Oregon Counseling Association. The presidency of COPACT rotates between these two professional organizations. We are committed to working collaboratively in order to represent the interests of all LPCs and LMFTs in Oregon (click on the Board page to view COPACT's current Board of Directors).

COPACT originated in 2010 to protect the Practice Act, resulting in the continued right for LPCs and LMFTs to receive insurance reimbursement for our services and to be legally defined as core providers of mental health services in Oregon (joining Psychiatrists, Nurse Practitioners, Psychologists, and LCSWs). Since that time, our primary focus has been lobbying for legislation that promotes effective mental health care in Oregon. 

COPACT has three funding sources: ORCA Membership dues, OAMFT membership dues and direct donations. The majority of our budget is dedicated to funding our lobbyists, Elizabeth Remley and Rachael Wiggins Emory (Thorn Run Partners). COPACT can continue to protect the interests of LPCs and LMFTs as long as we receive your support. Please maintain your memberships in ORCA and OAMFT and/or  donate to COPACT directly to continue our work in advancing quality mental health care for all Oregonians. 

Tax-exempt status:
COPACT is a 501 (c)(6), which is recognized as a tax-exempt trade association by the IRS. That means that anyone who operates a business can write off a donation to COPACT as a business expense.

Our parent organizations are also tax-exempt. OAMFT and ORCA are both 501(c)(6)s operating under the same IRS rules as COPACT.  That means that both membership dues and donations may be deducted from taxes as business expenses.

What we've accomplished so far:

• COPACT worked to protect and strengthen the Practice Act and to amend any statutes that included social workers but not LPCs and LMFTs.
• Passed HB 3668 which amended the practice act to allow 100 LPCs to hold onto their licenses.

• Passed HB 2217 which extends the exemption from punitive damages in malpractice suits to include LPCs and LMFTs.
• Met with the Oregon Insurance Commissioner to address many years of mental health reimbursement rate cuts.
• Stopped a bill that threatened the Practice Act.

• Worked on a failed bill to require insurers to be more transparent about how they determine reimbursement rates.
• Worked on failed independent mental health agencies bill that would increase the availability of internships.

• Hired Maura Roche as COPACT’s lobbyist.
• Passed HB 2768 which amended the Practice Act to make practice definitions more clear and better situated for health care reform. It also amended the LMFT internship section to allow the same amount of internship for LMFTs as LPCs
• Passed SB 491 which allows teens to self-refer to access care from LPCs and LMFTs.
• Worked on HB 2737, which allows independent mental health clinics to bill insurance in a way that has the effect of increasing the      availability of internships.
• Testified in support of a failed bill to require insurers to be more transparent in their determination of reimbursement rates.
• Assisted with the merger of the Oregon Mental Health Counselors Association and ORCA to give COPACT a more secure funding base.

• Hired lobbyist, Elizabeth Remley, following Maura Roche’s retirement.
• During the short legislative session, set up an efficient structure to evaluate bills.

• Participated with an Insurance Commission work group as it created a bill to address how to define insurance network adequacy.
• Evaluated 88 mental health bills during the long legislative session,
• Supported HB 2307, which prohibits the use of Conversion Therapy on minors.
• Supported HB 2796, which created a licensure process for Music Therapists.
• Helped clarify and supported HB 2023, which sets policies for hospitals when discharging mental health clients.
• Supported HB 430, which prohibits licensure boards from issuing a license to a person with a    conviction for sex crimes.
• Supported HB 2468, which directs the Oregon Insurance Division to establish specifics for making provider networks more accessible for clients and providers.
• Supported HB 832, which allows for full reimbursement of mental health services provided in primary care settings.
• Closely watched HB 3347, which makes it easier for courts to commit a mental health patient under the basic personal needs criteria.
• Kept an eye on SB 901, which requires insurers to directly reimburse an out-of-network provider who bills the insurer.
• Met with Senator Wyden’s staff to lobby for a bill he sponsored in the US Senate to extend Medicare reimbursement rights to LPCs and LMFTs.

• Throughout the year, met with an Insurance Commission work group that was trying to define what makes an adequate provider network
• During the short session, kept an eye on a number of mental health related bills including SB 1558, which protects students’ mental health records. This was an attempt to protect the privacy of survivors of sexual assault on college campuses.
• Met with the Insurance Commission to address how reimbursement cuts have a negative effect on access to mental health care for Oregonians. 
• Met with the Oregon Health Authority to address increasing caseloads for therapists working in Community Mental Health Programs.  

• Evaluated 74 bills that had an impact on mental health services and LPCs and LMFTs.
• Protected the rights of LPCs and LMFTs to use art in their practices and to provide services to sex offenders.
• Supported Art Therapists in their successful effort to obtain state licensure. 
• Successfully fought against legislative efforts to define required topics for continuing education training.
• Closely watched a failed bill, which would have allowed clients to receive psychiatric medications from qualified and supervised                   psychologists. 
• Helped develop and worked to pass SB 860 which creates a structure to evaluate mental health reimbursement reductions as potential violations of parity law. SB 860 may end over 20 years of steady reductions in mental health reimbursement rates in Oregon.
• Kept an eye on a failed revenue raising strategy that would have increased taxes on all mental health related services.
• Successfully opposed an insurance company’s new   policy that would have increased out-of-pocket costs for clients. The company retracted that policy.

2018 and beyond:
Please see our News page for 2018 and beyond!