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Web letter by Lindsey Wright: House bill assures Hoosiers of quality music therapy

We appreciate The Journal Gazette’s interest in House Bill 1051 (“…and other bad bills,” Jan. 8). The section on HB1051 stressed that this bill would increase the number of professions that the state governs. In reality, this bill has been created to protect residents of Indiana through upholding quality music therapy services and the specific professional credential of a board-certified music therapist. This should increase access throughout Indiana to exceptional medical, mental health and educational music therapy services.

Unlike a licensure or registry bill, the state will not need to expend resources to maintain any database or examine college transcripts. This bill references the existing music therapy credential, Music Therapist-Board Certified, granted by the Certification Board for Music Therapists. Therefore, this legislation is fiscally neutral.

The Certification Board for Music Therapists is the only organization to certify music therapists to practice music therapy nationally. Its MT-BC program has been fully accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies since 1986. More than 5,500 music therapists currently hold the MT-BC credential.

The Indiana Department of Disability and Rehabilitative Services recognizes music therapy, provided by board-certified music therapists, and approves this service as part of the Indiana Medicaid Waiver program. In addition, music therapy is now reimbursed by several private insurance plans. Music therapy is accessible in Indiana hospitals, mental health facilities, nursing facilities, hospice centers, day programs, private music therapy practices and schools. Music therapy degrees at undergraduate and graduate levels are offered in four Indiana colleges and universities, including Indiana University, Purdue University-Fort Wayne. Since 2000, music therapy jobs in Indiana have grown more than 250 percent, and today there are many open positions for MT-BCs in our state. With the increase in demand for music therapy, it is imperative that our residents, especially our most vulnerable citizens, are attaining genuine music therapy when they pursue it.

LINDSEY WRIGHT

President, Association for Indiana Music Therapy

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