There are currently over 70 board certified music therapists in South Carolina providing services to individuals of all ages and ability levels who have special healthcare needs that include: developmental disabilities, physical disabilities, acquired brain and physical injuries, mental health challenges, substance abuse, dementia, and those who are hospitalized or at the end of their life. Music therapists incorporate music and music-based experiences to help these people meet individualized therapeutic goals. Qualified music therapists have extensive clinical experience, research knowledge, and professional musical skills that allow them to facilitate therapeutic, goal-oriented music-based interactions that are meaningful and supportive to the function and health of their clients.
The people that board certified music therapists support largely pay for services out of pocket or through private funding. However, the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services states that music therapy is considered a core medicaid service, yet board certified music therapists are ineligible to become providers without a state license.
This presents three issues:
1) Residents of South Carolina have no access to qualified providers of an already-approved medicaid service.
2) Currently licensed providers are able to bill for a service they are not qualified to provide, which opens up the potential for fraud.
3) Residents of South Carolina are not protected from persons presenting themselves as music therapists who could potentially cause harm through unsafe practices.
Please contact your legislator in support of bills H4150 AND S.472.