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The College of Pastoral Supervision & Psychotherapy is a theologically based covenant community, dedicated to "recovery of the soul" and promoting competency in the clinical pastoral field.

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December 7, 2004


The COMISS Network meeting in Alexandria Sunday and Monday, December 5 and 6, was a stunning victory for collegiality and mutual respect in the various pastoral care and counseling communities.

A major focus of the meeting was the report on the self-appointed and misnamed "Council on Collaboration." The Collaboration group had publicly announced its select list of approved certifying and accrediting organizations, listing as legitimate only those organizations that had been invited to participate in the discussions, and refusing entrance to other organizations that requested invitations, such as CPSP.

At the COMISS meeting the monopolistic claims of the Collaboration group were soundly repudiated, and COMISS called for a discussion of the issues that will be open now to all COMISS members.

The delegates from the various religious groups (called the Religious Endorsing Bodies or "REBS") actually created this victory for collegiality. They made the proposal to open any further discussions, such as that engaged in by the Collaboration group, to all COMISS members. And they raised objections to the closed meetings that had been held by the Collaboration group.

Richard Liew nominated for the position of Chair of COMISS, the Rev. Dr. George A. Langhorne, the REB rep from the American Baptists. He was elected with enthusiasm.

We believe we should anticipate a new spirit of collegial relationships in COMISS in the period ahead. The import of this sea change should not be minimized. The CPSP community is indebted to the leadership both of COMISS and the REBs for its faithfulness to the principles of collegiality and mutual respect.

The official CPSP delegates to this meeting of COMISS were Richard Liew, Jim Gebhart, Ken Blank, and George Hull. These four did a magnificent job of
representing CPSP concerns, and speaking in favor of COMISS as an open forum where various religious and philosophical persuasions meet at the same table. The CPSP community owes these four delegates a debt of gratitude

-Raymond J. Lawrence

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 4:41 PM

December 1, 2004

ACPE Claim is False

The ACPE claim that Only ACPE, Inc. Accredited training programs are eligible for reimbursement for clinical pastoral education under the Medicare Pass-through for Nursing and Allied Health Education. is false.

The fact is that centers accredited by CPSP have been receiving such funds for years.

For considerable time now the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education has been making a public claim that it is the only Accredited provider of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) recognized by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) for Medicare pass-through reimbursement payments.

George Hankins-Hull, a CPSP Diplomate in Pastoral Supervision recently engaged officials at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in Boston and Washington to determine on his own the basis of the long standing ACPE claim.

Pastoral Report interviewed Hankins-Hull on his research. He commented, “I have been in direct conversation with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in Boston and Washington. CMS oversee and interpret the rules that govern Graduate Medical Education(GME) and in particular Medicare pass-through monies. They are the agency that can shed light on which GME programs qualify for reimbursement of Medicare pass-through monies.”

Medicare officials do not support the ACPE claim. We quote a response provided from the Medicare office: “The regulations cite the ACPE as an example of a national professional organization that would be sufficient as the accrediting body. However, the regulation at section 413.85(e) also specifically state that the accrediting bodies are “not limited to” the cited organizations. While programs that are accredited by the ACPE meet CMS definition of an Approved Nursing and Allied Health Education Program, there is no exclusivity granted by the regulations to ACPE programs.”

In his final comments Hankins-Hull said “The real issue for me, in relation to the ACPE claim, pertains to truth in advertising. That is, how truthfully we represent ourselves and our organizations in the public forum. We are ethically bound to be truthful in our public comments and not to make claims that are false, fraudulent, misleading, deceptive or are only a partial disclosure of the facts. ACPE are ethically bound to publicly retract their misleading statement and that’s the bottom line.”
Note: The ACPE statement cited in this interview can be found on the Association of Professional Chaplains web site in the reading room section. The article is entitled “ Pastoral Care Providers: Members of the Healthcare Team in Accordance with the Regulations of the Department of Health & Human Services” and is written by Lerrill White, M.Div, BCC Assistant Director of CPE at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital in Houston, TX. George Hankins-Hull can be contacted at

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 9:56 PM