Latest News

06/21/2017

APA urges members to Contact their US senators to voice opposition to health AHCA

Members of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) “are urged to contact their US senators to voice opposition to the health care reform bill now being considered in the Senate.” It is expected that senators will “vote on the bill, which is based on the House-passed American Health Care Act (AHCA), by July 4.” APA's dedicated page makes it easy to make contact. Read More


06/20/2017

SAMHSA National Behavioral Health Barometer now available

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has released the Behavioral Health Barometer, United States, Volume 4. Topics addressed in the report include substance use, serious mental illness, serious thoughts of suicide and behavioral health treatment. Read More


06/20/2017

Ohio's Behavioral Health Redesign - disappointment expressed at delay by actions of the Ohio Council

After more than two years of development and extensive stakeholder input, the Ohio Departments of Medicaid and Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) are ready to implement Behavioral Health Redesign. However, a recent move by the Ohio Council for Behavioral Health & Family Services Providers has stalled the process delaying the July 1 implementation date. Many providers and stakeholders favored a July 1 implementation date, and have expressed disappointment and negative business impacts from the delay. Read More


06/19/2017

A Veteran's plea: stop executing people with severe mental illness

Frederick J. Frese, III, Ph.D., practicing psychologist and former Marine Corps captain who served during the Vietnam War and who was discharged after being diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, is someone who has been on both sides of the mental health system  - as a consumer and as a caregiver - Dr. Frese supports others who believe that taking the death penalty off the table for people with severe mental illness (Ohio's HB 81/SB 40) is a sensible, humane response that respects the fundamental dignity of each human being. Read More


06/19/2017

Kasich backs gradual phase out of Medicaid expansion

Ohio Gov. John Kasich said last week that he could accept a gradual phase out of the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, but only if Congress provides states with more money than the House health care bill included and more flexibility to manage the health program for the poor (Source: “John Kasich Backs Slow Medicaid Rollback, but With More Money,” New York Times, June 12, 2017). Read More


06/16/2017

Updated action guide to address opioid abuse available

The Governor’s Cabinet Opiate Action Team (GCOAT) this week published an updated Action Guide to Address Opioid Abuse. The 20-page resource serves as a blueprint to help communities address opioid addiction at the local level. Read More


06/16/2017

Ohio leads nation in prescription drug monitoring

A recent fact sheet from the American Medical Association shows that Ohio now leads the nation in prescription drug monitoring. In 2016, Ohio processed more than 24 million queries from physicians and other health professionals through the State Board of Pharmacy's Ohio Automated Rx Reporting System (OARRS), far more than any other state. Read More


06/14/2017

OPPA testifies on telemedicine amendment in state budget

On June 14, Executive Director, Janet Shaw, testified on behalf of the OPPA before the Senate Finance Committee to request that the Committee add back the telemedicine amendment inserted and passed by the House, which was subsequently removed by the Senate. Read More


06/08/2017

OPPA submits testimony in support of House Bill 145

OPPA president, Tamara Campbell, MD, submitted written testimony on behalf of the OPPA in support of House (HB) 145, legislation to create a confidential monitoring and treatment program for physicians and other health care professionals licensed by the State Medical Board of Ohio. Read More


06/08/2017

Call your state Senator this weekend to ensure key provisions remain in the budget

This weekend, the Ohio Senate will be making final decisions on the Senate Sub-bill of Ohio's SFY 2018-2019 biennial budget bill. Please contact your state Senator and ask them to keep key provisions put in by the House related to services for individuals with mental illness and/or addiction disorders. Read More


06/08/2017

HPIO releases: State Policy Options in the AHCA

Last month, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act, a bill aimed at overhauling much of the Affordable Care Act. Although the AHCA is sometimes referred to as a bill to "repeal and replace" the ACA, it leaves many of the decisions to alter the 2010 health reform law in the hands of states. Read More


06/08/2017

Free CME on behavioral health and underserved populations (BHUP)

The Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, with funding from the Ohio Department of Medicaid, has developed seven web-based on-line CME courses specifically designed for psychiatric physicians and other providers in caring for underserved patients and families. Read More


05/31/2017

Research Watch - May 2017 now available

Research Watch is an initiative by the residents of Case Western Reserve University/University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center in the form of a monthly e-publication, which aims to inform psychiatry residents and faculty of notable articles published in prominent research and educational journals, with the hope of promoting a culture of incorporating latest research in our psychiatric worldview. Read More


05/31/2017

Ohio leads nation in prescription drug monitoring

A recent fact sheet from the American Medical Association shows that Ohio now leads the nation in prescription drug monitoring. In 2016, Ohio processed more than 24 million queries from physicians and other health professionals through the State Board of Pharmacy's Ohio Automated Rx Reporting System (OARRS), far more than any other state. Read More


05/31/2017

Allowable charges for copying medical records

The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) has released updated amounts that physicians and other health care professionals can charge for copying medical records in 2017. Read More


05/31/2017

Having problems with OARRS website?

Last month, the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy (SOBP) updated its Ohio Automated Rx Reporting System (OARRS) with a new software platform. While every attempt was made to ensure a smooth transition, the SOBP is aware of some access issues and is working diligently to correct them. Read More


05/12/2017

Medicaid's role in behavioral health - infographic

A new infographic is available from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation that illustrates Medicaid's role in behavioral health.


05/10/2017

2017 Assisted Outpatient Treatment Symposium - Nov. 2, Columbus

The OPPA is once again a proud sponsor of the 2017 Assisted Outpatient Treatment Symposium. Across the nation and here in Ohio, studies have shown that AOT can dramatically improve treatment outcomes and substantially reduce the likelihood of repeat hospitalization and criminal justice involvement for its target population.


05/05/2017

ASAM 2000 waiver training available in Columbus on June 12, 2 - 6 p.m.

With the opioid crisis severely affecting all areas of our state, it is crucial for Ohio to have more physicians who are able to provide buprenorphine treatment for opioid use disorders. This four-hour workshop, combined with the four-hour on-line training will prepare physicians to apply for the waiver in order to treat patients with buprenorphine. Read More


05/05/2017

"Consider Psychiatry" campaign for medical students

One of the top priorities of the Ohio Psychiatric Physicians Foundation (OPPF) is it's Consider Psychiatry Campaign which is designed to provide medical students with opportunities to engage with practicing psychiatrists in hopes that they will consider choosing psychiatry as their medical specialty in residency. Please consider giving to support this important initiative. Read More


05/04/2017

HPIO releases Ohio Medicaid Basics 2017

The Health Policy Institute of Ohio recently released Ohio Medicaid Basics 2017, a foundational summary of the state-federal program including an overview of Ohio's Medicaid eligibility, enrollment and financing. Read More


05/04/2017

Ohio Medicaid releases My Care Ohio three-year evaluation

Ohio Medicaid recently released a three-year evaluation of the MyCare Ohio demonstration program that reports significant benefits for Ohioans enrolled in the program and taxpayers. MyCare plans coordinate Medicare and Medicaid services across physical, behavioral, and long-term services and support for 107,000 individuals in 29 counties. Read More


05/04/2017

APA free course of the month for May 2017

Each month, members have free access to an online CME course on a trending topic. The May course “Neuroimaging Correlates of Psychopathology and Substance Abuse.” Read More


05/03/2017

OPPA annual Advocacy Day at the Statehouse another success

On Wed., April 25, OPPA members gathered at the Statehouse in Columbus for a day filled with learning and advocating on behalf of their patients and for their profession. Read More


05/03/2017

OPPA and OPPF pleased to again support Ohio Stepping Up

The Stepping Up Initiative is a national effort to divert people with mental illness from jails and into treatment. The campaign, both nationally, and in Ohio, brings together a powerful coalition of organizations and individuals, working together to reduce the number of people with illness in jails - which have become the de facto in-patient psychiatric facilities. Read More


05/03/2017

OPPA expresses concerns with SMBO proposed confidential monitoring program

On April 24, the OPPA joined a dozen other statewide physician organizations, in submitting a letter to the State Medical Board of Ohio (SMBO) identifying concerns with proposed rules for a confidential monitoring process for physicians who are dealing with mental or physical illness. Read More


04/24/2017

Research Watch - April 2017 now available

Research Watch is an initiative by the residents of Case Western Reserve University/University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center in the form of a monthly e-publication, which aims to inform psychiatry residents and faculty of notable articles published in prominent research and educational journals, with the hope of promoting a culture of incorporating latest research in our psychiatric worldview. Read More


04/24/2017

Ohioans covered by Medicaid will soon be eligible for up to 15 days IH MH treatment

A change in a federal Medicaid rule that has stood for 52 years is expected to allow more Ohioans to get badly needed mental-health services. Effective July 1, Medicaid recipients ages 21 to 64 who are in a managed-care plan will be eligible for up to 15 days of inpatient mental-health treatment. The program specifically exempted that group from inpatient coverage since it was founded in 1965. Read More


04/14/2017

OPPA Quarterly Newsletter - Insight Matters, Spring 2017

Read the latest issue of the OPPA's official newsletter. Read More


04/11/2017

Ohio's 2017 opiate conference registration is live!

Registration is now available for Ohio’s eighth annual opiate conference: Bridges to Recovery on June 12-13, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Columbus. In addition to many excellent speakers, this year's program will include a DATA 2000 waiver training through the American Society of Addiction Medicine.


04/05/2017

Nominations being accepted for the APA Bruno Lima Award in Disaster Psychaitry

The APA is calling upon District Branches/State Association presidents to submit a letter of nomination. The Bruno Lima Award recognizes outstanding contributions of APA members in the care and understanding of the victims of disaster. The APA is calling upon District Branches/State Association presidents to submit a letter of nomination. OPPA members are encouraged to recommend a colleague (or themselves) to be considered for nomination.


03/31/2017

Ohio telemedicine rules effective March 23

The State Medical Board of Ohio (SMBO) has adopted new rules for persons not seen by the physician, commonly referred to as telemedicine rules. Read More


03/31/2017

President signs executive order on drug addiction

President Donald J. Trump signed an Executive Order establishing the President's Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis. Read More


03/31/2017

New Limits on Prescription Opiates Will Save Lives and Fight Addiction

Ohio is updating its opiate prescribing policies for treating acute pain by giving them the force of law. The state began creating its voluntary guidelines in 2012, together with the medical community, even before the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued guidelines last March. Read More


03/31/2017

APA free course of the month for Apr. 2017

APA’s course of the month for April, "Managing the Side Effects of Psychotropic Medications," is now available to APA members at no cost in the APA Learning Center. Read More


03/31/2017

Number of students matching to psychiatry increases for the fifth year in a row

A total of 923 U.S. senior medical school students matched with a psychiatry residency in this year’s National Resident Matching Program (NRMP), up from 850 in 2016. This year’s figure is the highest number of medical students to choose psychiatry residency training programs in recent history. Read More


03/31/2017

SAMHSA releases guidelines for people with MH or SUD transitioning from jails and prisons

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has released an implementation guide titled, Guidelines for Successful Transition of People with Mental or Substance Use Disorders from Jail and Prison: Implementation Guide. Read More


03/31/2017

The Psychiatric Shortage - Causes and Solutions

The National Council for Behavioral Health (National Council) Medical Director Institute issued a report this week entitled, "The Psychiatric Shortage - Causes and Solutions" which describes the problem, identifies solutions and proposes concrete solutions to evidence-based psychiatric services. Read More


03/23/2017

Research Watch - March 2017 now available

Research Watch is an initiative by the residents of Case Western Reserve University/University Hospitals Case Medical Center in the form of a monthly e-publication, which aims to inform psychiatry residents and faculty of notable articles published in prominent research and educational journals, with the hope of promoting a culture of incorporating latest research in our psychiatric worldview. Read More


03/23/2017

Ohio MHAS seeking psychiatrists in Toledo for April - June

The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) is seeking psychiatrists to address a projected staff shortage for the period of April – June at the Northwest Ohio Psychiatric Hospital (NOPH) in Toledo. Read More


03/17/2017

State budget update: CS blog recap of ODH and OhioMHAS testimony

The House Finance Subcommittee on Health and Human Services heard testimony last Thursday from the directors of the Ohio departments of Health and Mental Health and Addiction Services as it convened for its fourth hearing of H.B. 49, the executive budget proposal for fiscal years 2018-2019. Community Solutions Graduate Assistant Adam White recaps the directors' testimonies and key areas of committee questioning in his latest blog.


03/17/2017

ACHA to cost Ohio $19-26 billion in lost Medicaid funds

The House Republican's American Health Care Act (ACHA) establishes an alternative Medicaid financing plan built on per capita caps. Research conducted by Community Solutions finds that the Ohio all funds reduction, as the result of the proposed Medicaid per capita cap, would be between $19 and $25.6 billion between Fiscal Years 2019 and 2025.


03/09/2017

Megan Testa, MD, testifies on behalf of SB 56 - step therapy reform

On March 7, OPPA chair of Government Relations, Megan Testa, MD testified in support of Senate Bill 56 - a bill which would put safeguards in place for when insurance companies utilize a cost containment strategy known as step therapy - more accurately referred to as "fail first."


03/09/2017

OPPA testifies on SMI exemption from the death penalty bill

Megan Testa, MD, Chair of the OPPA Government Relations Committee, provided proponent testimony before members of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee on Tues., March 7, on Senate Bill 40. Read More


03/09/2017

APA deeply concerned about proposed ACA replacement bill

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) president, APA President Maria A. Oquendo, M.D., Ph.D., expresses deep deeply concern that the proposed ACA replacement released earlier this week will negatively impact care for people with mental illness and substance use disorders. The APA urges continued support and expanded access to quality, evidence-based mental health and substance use services. Read More


03/08/2017

OhioMHAS budget testimony available online

Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services Director Tracy Plouck provided testimony in support of the department’s FY 2018-19 budget before members of the House Health and Human Services Subcommittee on March 2. Read More


03/05/2017

Ohio ranks 46th in the nation in health value

The Health Policy Institute of Ohio this week released the latest edition of its Health Value Dashboard, which ranks states and the District of Columbia on a combination of population health and healthcare spending metrics. According to the Dashboard, Ohio ranks 46th in the nation in health value. Read More


03/05/2017

APA free course of the month for Mar. 2017

Each month, members have free access to an online CME course on a trending topic. The March course reviews the latest evidence on the detection and prevention of cognitive decline and strategies for maintaining both physical and mental exercise and proper nutrition. Read More


03/01/2017

HPIO releases latest edition of its Health Value Dashboard

The Health Policy Institute of Ohio today released the latest edition of its Health Value Dashboard, which ranks states and the District of Columbia on a combination of population health and healthcare spending metrics. According to the Dashboard, Ohio ranks 46th in the nation in health value. Read More


02/27/2017

OPPA seeking ECPs to mentor RFMs

The Ohio Psychiatric Physicians Association is looking for Early Career Psychiatrists (ECP), those members who are in their first eight years of practice, who would be interested in providing mentorship to psychiatry residents on a one-to-one basis. Read More


02/27/2017

Research Watch - Feb. 2017 now available

Research Watch is an initiative by the residents of Case Western Reserve University/University Hospitals Case Medical Center in the form of a monthly e-publication, which aims to inform psychiatry residents and faculty of notable articles published in prominent research and educational journals, with the hope of promoting a culture of incorporating latest research in our psychiatric worldview. Read More


02/27/2017

Ohio proposed marijuana limits among strictest in U.S.

Proposed limits on how much medical marijuana Ohio patients could buy and possess would be among the strictest in the country. Read More


02/24/2017

Ohio MHAS and DODD release: Perspectives on Trauma and Hope for Healing

(OhioMHAS) and Developmental Disabilities (DODD) have released Perspectives on Trauma and Hope for Healing - a new video series depicting personal stories of lived experience and resiliency. Read More


02/24/2017

CCS releases state legislative district profiles

The Center for Community Solutions has released Legislative District Profiles for each of Ohio's state House and Senate Districts. This is the first time the data has been compiled at the state district level, showing that issues related to health and human services touch every district in Ohio. Read More


02/20/2017

Members invited to comment on APA Guideline

Members of the OPPA/APA are invited to review and comment by March 17, 2017 on the draft APA "Practice Guidelines for the Pharmacological Treatment of Patients with Alcohol Use Disorder." Read More


02/17/2017

Bill introduced to exempt individuals with SMI from the death penalty

Senators John Eklund (R-Geauga) and Sandra Williams (D-Cuyahoga) have introduced bipartisan legislation that would exclude individuals with serious mental illness from the death penalty just as individuals with intellectual disabilities and juveniles are currently exempted. Read More


02/17/2017

APA continues to address concerns related to MOC

The American Psychiatric Association has created a webpage to identify for members, what its role is in Maintenance of Certification. Read More


02/15/2017

Bill introduced to put protections in place for step therapy

Senators Peggy Lehner (R-Kettering) and Charleta Tavares (D-Columbus) introduced Senate Bill 56 which would put into place protocols for insurance companies that utilize step therapy (also known as fail first) as a prior authorization/cost savings strategy. Read More


02/02/2017

NEJM - Medicare Payment for Behavioral Health Integration

On January 1, 2017, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will begin paying clinicians separately for the BHI services they provide to Medicare beneficiaries. Four new codes were created for the 2017 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule to allow payment to health care providers for furnishing BHI services. Read More


02/02/2017

APA free course of the month for Feb. 2017

Myths and Misperceptions of Opioids and Cannabis

Each month, members have free access to an online CME course on a trending topic. The February course is Myths and Misperceptions of Opioids and Cannabis presented by Nora Volkow, M.D., of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Read More


02/02/2017

Opioids prescribed to Ohioans drop 20 percent

Opioid prescribing declined for the fourth consecutive year in 2016, according to a newly released report from the State Board of Pharmacy's Ohio Automated Rx Reporting System (OARRS). Read More


02/02/2017

Governor Kasich unviels Executive Budget

On Monday, Governor Kasich released his Fiscal Year 2018-2019 Executive Budget, which builds on the progress made since 2011 to strengthen Ohio’s economy and promote job creation. Read More


02/02/2017

House of medicine identifies tops issues to follow in 2017

On Jan. 27, the OSMA hosted the 2017 House of Medicine meeting where leaders of statewide medical specialty organizations gathered and strategized about major issues impacting medicine in Ohio. Read More


02/02/2017

AMA survey quantifies time burden of prior authorizations

What do you do 37 times in a given workweek? If you are a fervent coffee drinker, perhaps that is how often you refill your trusty travel mug. But if you are like the physicians recently surveyed by the AMA, 37 may be the number of prior-authorization (PA) requests that you and your hardworking staffers complete each week. Read More


02/01/2017

Five of Ohio's 10 psychiatric residency program reach APA 100% Club status

The OPPA would like to recognize the residents and training directors at five program in Ohio for their commitment to being a part of an organization of psychiatrists working together to ensure humane care and effective treatment for all persons with mental illness, including substance use disorders! Read More


01/30/2017

OhioMHAS promotes ASAM guidelines for treatment of opioid use disorder

The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) Clinical Roundtable has recommended the implementation of the National Practice Guidelines for the use of Medications in the treatment of Addiction Involving Opioid Use developed by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM). Read More


01/25/2017

Watch your e-mail for OPPA electronic ballots

On Tues., Jan. 31, the OPPA will be sending an e-mail to all voting members, for whom we have a valid e-mail address, with a link to SurveyMonkey so members can vote to elect leaders of the OPPA as well as to vote on a proposed amendment to the bylaws. Read More


01/25/2017

Correction in OPPA newsletter, Insight Matters, Winter 2017 issue

The OPPA would like to congratulate newly advanced APA Distinguished Fellows and Fellows. Read More


01/24/2017

Research Watch - Mar. 2017 now available

Research Watch is an initiative by the residents of Case Western Reserve University/University Hospitals Case Medical Center in the form of a monthly e-publication, which aims to inform psychiatry residents and faculty of notable articles published in prominent research and educational journals, with the hope of promoting a culture of incorporating latest research in our psychiatric worldview. Read More


01/24/2017

Medical board distributes e-News for Jan. 2017

In case you missed it, the State Medical Board of Ohio recently e-mailed its Jan. 2017 issue of the Med Board e-News to all licensees. Read More


01/23/2017

Proposed amendment to the OPPA bylaws - 2017

OPPA members will be asked to vote on the amended bylaws which will be included on the ballot that will be sent electronically to all OPPA members at the end of January. Read More


01/20/2017

New tool shows crisis trends in real time by state

A new tool from Crisis Text Line reveals the location, day of the week, time of day, accompanying issues, and words most associated with specific mental health issues of individuals who text 4HOPE to 741741 to connect with a trained crisis counselor. Read More


01/19/2017

OPPA quarterly newsletter Insight Matters, winter 2017

Read the latest issue of the OPPA's official newsletter. Read More


01/18/2017

OPPA joins OHA and other groups to fight unworkable price transparency law

The OPPA has joined several other medical groups, including the Ohio State Medical Association and the Ohio Osteopathic Association, to fight a law that was to go into effect Jan. 1, 2017. The flawed law invites confusion for all stakeholders and would result in provider non-compliance and delays in patient care. Read More


01/16/2017

State officials tout success of mental health crisis text line

Text 4HOPE to 741741

A statewide partnership with the national Crisis Text Line has resulted in 243 "active rescues" of Ohioans in danger of harming themselves or others, state and local mental health officials said this week. Read More


01/16/2017

Study: More than 200k Ohioans would lose addiction, mental health care with ACA repeal

More than 220,000 people in Ohio may be unable to afford care for mental illness or drug addiction if congressional Republicans scrap the 2010 health-care law without passing a substitute measure, according to a new national report. Read More


01/13/2017

Much needed new feature of OARRS

A new feature has been added to the Ohio Automated Rx Reporting (OARRS) that allows physicians (and their designees) to see which prescriptions for their patients were not checked. Read More


01/13/2017

Deadline for APA elections near

Help determine the future of APA by selecting its next leaders. Learn about this year’s slate of candidates, their priorities, backgrounds and watch video interviews! Read More


01/03/2017

HPIO holds forum to explore Ohio's 2016 State Health Assessment

As state agencies prepare state budget proposals and the Ohio General Assembly prepares for the next two-year session, a forum hosted by the Health Policy Institute of Ohio (HPIO) on December 8 explored the three priority areas that emerged from Ohio’s 2016 State Health Assessment: mental and infant health; chronic disease; and mental health and addiction. Read More


01/03/2017

Medical board distributes e-News - Dec. 2016

In case you missed it, the State Medical Board of Ohio recently e-mailed its e-News publication for Dec. 2016. Articles include information on: licensee renewal; PA supervision agreement renewal deadline; and reporting to OARRS. Read More


01/03/2017

Applications for APA/APAF fellowships due by Jan. 31!

APA/APAF Fellowships are designed to help residents, fellows and early career psychiatrists explore interests and develop their leadership skills. APA/APAF Fellowships can be completed during your regular residency training program. The APA is now accepting applications for each of its eight fellowships. Read More


01/03/2017

APA free course of the month for Jan. 2017

Each month, members have access to an online course on a trending topic. The January course is Evaluating and Managing Agitated Patients, taught by Rachel Glick, M.D., University of Michigan. Read More


12/29/2016

Research Watch - Dec. 2016 now available

Research Watch is an initiative by the residents of Case Western Reserve University/University Hospitals Case Medical Center in the form of a monthly e-publication, which aims to inform psychiatry residents and faculty of notable articles published in prominent research and educational journals, with the hope of promoting a culture of incorporating latest research in our psychiatric worldview. Read More


12/27/2016

Report: Ohio ground zero for opioid overdose deaths

According to a report from The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, Ohio saw more opioid overdose deaths than anywhere else in the nation in 2014, and the numbers continue to rise, according to a recent report. Read More


12/27/2016

Insurance directory errors cause challenges for consumers

As consumers review their coverage and shop for 2017 insurance through the federal health law’s online marketplaces, many of the directories they are using are outdated and inaccurate. Read More


12/22/2016

Happy holidays from the OPPA!

Wishing you all the joys of the season - time with family, the gift of friends and the hope of peace and good health. May the spirit of the holiday season be with you all through the coming year.


12/21/2016

Medical board releases draft medical marijuana rules

On December 15, the State Medical Board of Ohio (SMBO) presented draft rules at Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee meeting relative to the perimeters for issuing certificates to physicians who wish to recommend medical marijuana for their patients who have qualifying conditions and diseases. Read More


12/19/2016

Ohio negotiates price freeze on anti-overdose drug

State officials announced this week that Ohio is the first state to negotiate a price freeze with the maker of naloxone, an opiate overdose medication (Source: “Ohio locks in discount for overdose drug,” Chillicothe Gazette, Nov. 30, 2016). Read More


12/19/2016

APA free course of the month for Dec.

Each month APA makes available a free CME course to members only through its Learning Center. December’s selection is “Early Detection and Intervention for Adolescents With Early Psychosis.” Read More


12/19/2016

Opioid deaths surpass 30,000 in 2015 according to CDC

The Washington Post (12/8, Ingraham) reports data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday revealed that “opioid deaths continued to surge in 2015, surpassing 30,000 for the first time in recent history.” Read More


12/19/2016

Federal and state changes raise possibility of new or expanded syringe services programs in Ohio

As the opiate crisis continues to take a toll on Ohio and the need for addiction recovery services outpaces capacity, syringe services programs, or syringe exchange program, have become a more common topic of discussion as an intervention to reduce harm for people who inject drugs. Read More


12/19/2016

Ohio's 131st General Assembly - by the numbers wrap up

When the House and Senate adjourned in the early morning hours of Friday, Dec. 9, they concluded what are expected to be the last regular sessions of the General Assembly. There were some interesting numbers that came out of the 131st session. Read More


12/15/2016

Obama signs historic 21st Century Cures Act to reform MH care system

With President Barack Obama’s signature on Dec. 13, the 21st Century Cures Act, widely considered to be landmark healthcare legislation, was passed into law. The bill includes provisions long championed by Reps. Tim Murphy (R-Pa) and Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) in the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act as well as provisions in the Mental Health Reform Act of 2016. Read More


11/29/2016

SMBO e-mails the November 2016 eNews to licensees

The State Medical Board of Ohio's Nov. 2016 eNews includes OARRS compliance update, Naloxone atomizer recall and new rules that go into effect Nov. 30. Read More


11/29/2016

APA offers toolkit on how to navigate MACRA payment reforms

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) changes the way psychiatrists and other physicians working with Medicare patients will be paid. To help you understand the new regulations, APA has prepared a comprehensive MACRA Toolkit, which includes a free webinar series. Read More


11/29/2016

Nurse practitioners and physician assistants can begin buprenorphine training

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced on November 17 that nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) can begin taking the 24 hours of required training to prescribe buprenorphine to treat opioid use disorder. Read More


11/29/2016

Ohio has highest number of synthetic opioid deaths in nation

In 2014, there were 590 deaths in Ohio attributed to a synthetic opioid overdose (not including Methadone, but including drugs like fentanyl and tramadol), which is the highest number in the nation. Read More


11/28/2016

OPPA extends its sympathies to those affected by the attacks on the OSU campus today

As the potential mental health impact of this event increases for our local communities, the OPPA offers tips and resources on how to minimize possible mental and emotional effects of trauma caused by the attack. This tragedy can have a tremendous psychological impact on all those directly and indirectly affected.


11/22/2016

APA successful in advocating for CMS coverage of collaborative care reimbursement

CMS recently announced its FINAL Medicare Physician Fee Schedule rule that Medicare will begin coverage and reimbursement for “Psychiatric Collaborative Care Management Services” starting in 2017, including payments to psychiatrists for consultative services they provide to primary care physicians. Read More


11/22/2016

Bill would overhaul professional licensing boards in Ohio

Last week, Sen. Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati), introduced a bill that calls for a massive overhaul of professional licensing in Ohio that would abolish 11 licensing boards and consolidate them under three new boards and two existing ones. Read More


11/21/2016

Research Watch - Nov 2016 now available

Research Watch is an initiative by the residents of Case Western Reserve University/University Hospitals Case Medical Center in the form of a monthly e-publication, which aims to inform psychiatry residents and faculty of notable articles published in prominent research and educational journals, with the hope of promoting a culture of incorporating latest research in our psychiatric worldview. Read More


11/17/2016

Surgeon General releases first ever report on addiction in America

U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy’s Office has released "Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs and Health." OPPA member and President of the American Society of Addiction Medicine, Jeffrey Goldsmith, MD stated: “The report released today confirms what we have known for a long time: addiction is a disease of the brain that can and should be treated with evidence-based, compassionate care.” Read More


11/15/2016

Barbara Sears to replace John McCarthy as director of Medicaid

Governor John Kasich has announced that Barbara Sears will replace John McCarthy as the director of the Ohio Department of Medicaid in December. Read More


11/14/2016

Psychologists continue the fight to practice medicine by way of the legislature with SB 300

Senate Bill 300, which authorizes certain psychologists to prescribe psychotropic and other drugs for the treatment of mental illness and/or addiction disorders, had its third hearing last week in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee Read More


11/11/2016

Suicides now top traffic deaths among young adolescents

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released statistics on November 3 that show the suicide rate for children ages 10 to 14 has now surpassed the death rate from traffic accidents among this age group (Source: “Young Adolescents as Likely to Die From Suicide as from Traffic Accidents,” New York Times, November 3, 2016). Read More


11/11/2016

Medical board sends another round of threatening letters on OARRS

Last week, after processing the Ohio Automated Rx Reporting System (OARSS) data for Sept. from the State Board of Pharmacy, the State Medical Board of Ohio (SMBO) began e-mailing prescribers about those who were identified as being potentially non-compliant. Read More


11/10/2016

Collaborative care for youth: statewide success stories

In a recent Psychiatric News column, Robert Hilt, M.D., the associate medical director of Behavioral Health Consultative and Community-Based Programs at Seattle Children’s Hospital, describes several collaborative care initiatives in the state of Washington that are helping to connect primary care providers with child psychiatrists. Read More


11/10/2016

APA free CME course for members only - Nov. 2017

Advances in Therapeutic Interventions: Diagnosis and Treatment of Geriatric Depression

Each month APA makes available a free CME course exclusive to members only through its Learning Center. Read More


11/10/2016

APA announces new mental health registry, PsychPRO

The APA has launced its Psychiatric Patient Registry Online (PsychPRO), a national mental health registry that will help psychiatrists deliver high-quality care and meet new MACRA quality-reporting requirements by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Read More


11/10/2016

APA offers free webinar series on MACRA beginning Nov. 16

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) changes the way psychiatrists and other physicians working with Medicare patients will be paid. To help you understand the new regulations, APA is offering a free webinar series that begins on Wednesday, November 16 (noon to 1 p.m). Read More


11/08/2016

Take a one-day stand against tobacco on Nov. 17

On Nov. 17 the Tobacco-Free College Campus Initiative along with universities across the country will take a one-day stand against tobacco in celebration of the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smoke-out. Read More


11/01/2016

Medical marijuana advisory committee schedules first meeting

The organizational meeting of the Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee was held today (Nov.) 1 at 10 a.m. The Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee is coordinated by the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy (SOBP). The committee may develop and submit to the Department of Commerce, the SOBP, and the State Medical Board of Ohio (SMBO) any recommendations related to the Medical Marijuana Control Program and the implementation and enforcement of the related Ohio Revised Code. Read More


10/31/2016

Overdose deaths continue to climb in Ohio for ALL drug categories

The Ohio Department of Health released the 2015 Ohio Drug Overdose Data in August. The data clearly shows an increase in deaths from heroin and fentanyl at unprecedented rates. Reports tout that the percentage of prescription opioid related deaths compared to all unintentional overdose deaths declined for the fourth year in a row. That sounds good until looking closer and realizing that the number of people dying from prescription opioid overdose isn’t a meaningful decline (only five fewer people died in 2015 than in 2014), but the total number of people overdosing is increasing - almost 200% in the past decade and 21% in the past year, an increase of over 500 people from 2014 to 2015. Read More


10/31/2016

White House task force on mental health parity issues its final report

On Oct. 27, in its final report, the Task Force announced a series of actions and recommendations to help ensure better implementation of parity; to help consumers, providers, and plans understand how parity works; and to ensure appropriate oversight and enforcement of parity protections. Read More


10/31/2016

Free webinar: Understanding the New Federal Regulation to Increase Buprenorphine Patient Limits

Nov. 8, 2016 Noon - 1 p.m. Eastern

Federal regulations recently made a significant change to the number of patients qualified buprenorphine prescribers can treat. Now what? Whether you have already received a waiver to prescribe to 100 patients, or you are just getting started in the process of obtaining a waiver to prescribe, you need to know how to navigate this exciting development. Read More


10/28/2016

Ohio Medicaid Director John McCarthy helps identify policy options for states to tackle rising drug prices

Ohio Medicaid Director John McCarthy recently participated in a work group sponsored by the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) to identify policy options for states to tackle rising drug prices. Read More


10/19/2016

Nationally renowned speakers confirmed for OPPA Annual Psychiatric Update on March 12, 2017

The OPPA planning committee for the 2017 Annual Psychiatric Update has worked hard over the past several months to plan an outstanding program with nationally renowned speakers. The theme of the program, Mental Illness - Helping Ourselves, Our colleagues and Our Patients, addresses some serious and important topics facing many physicians today. Read More


10/19/2016

Medical board threatens 12,000 physicians as being non-compliant with OARRS

The State Medical Board of Ohio recently emailed 12,000 (one-third of physicians licensed in Ohio) saying that according to an Ohio Automated Rx Reporting System (OARRS) audit report conducted by the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy (SOBP) they are not compliant with requirements related to prescribing opioids. The e-mail threatened possible action against these physicians' licenses and/or a $20K fine for unspecified viloations to required utilization of OARRS. Read More


10/18/2016

MACRA final rule: CMS strikes a balance; will docs hang on?

As reported in the Health Affairs article: MACRA Final Rule: CMS Strikes a Balance; Will Docs Hang On?, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the Final Rule implementing the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). Read More


10/18/2016

APA helps psychiatrists prepare for MACRA

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) changes the way psychiatrists and other physicians working with Medicare patients will be paid. Some reporting requirements begin as early as January 1, 2017. Read More


10/18/2016

DEA reduces amount of opioid controlled substances to be manufactured in 2017

The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has announced it will reduce the amount of almost every Schedule II opiate and opioid medication that may be manufactured in the United States in 2017 by 25 percent or more, according to a Final Order being published in the Federal Register. Read More


10/18/2016

Changing the Language of Addiction: public comment sought

The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) is seeking public comment (by 5 p.m. on Nov. 4) on a draft of Changing the Language of Addiction, a document addressing ways non-stigmatizing terminology can be used when discussing substance use and substance use disorders. Read More


10/18/2016

Private health insurance basics - a series of six fact sheets

The Health Policy Institute of Ohio (HPIO) has released a series of fact sheets to provide information and analysis related to private health insurance in Ohio to policymakers and other stakeholders. Read More


10/18/2016

National Rx take-back day - Oct. 22

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is hosting its next national prescription drug Take-Back Day this Saturday (Oct. 22) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Read More


10/06/2016

APA free course of the month for Oct - Childhood precursors of BPD

Each month APA makes available a free CME course exclusive to members only through its Learning Center. October’s selection is “childhood precursors of borderline personality disorder (bpd): why are childhood precursors important?” Read More


10/05/2016

From Aids to opioids - how to combat an epidemic

New England Journal of Medicine

The United States is facing a vast epidemic of opioid-related deaths. More than 2.4 million Americans have a severe opioid-use disorder (OUD) involving dependence on pain medications, heroin, or both, and rates of drug-overdose deaths in this country have outpaced mortality from motor vehicle accidents since 2013. Read More


09/29/2016

New effective date for Medicaid rendering provider and ordering practitioner enrollment

Beginning with dates of service on and after July 1, 2017, Ohio behavioral health providers must submit a rendering practitioner’s National Provider Identifier (NPI) on their Medicaid claims. The previous effective date of January 1, 2017 has been moved to July 1, 2017. Read More


09/25/2016

SMBO using OARRS data to identify prescribers who have failed to register

Ohio law requires all prescribers of opioid analgesics or benzodiazepines to register and use Ohio’s Automated Rx Reporting System (OARRS). Read More


09/22/2016

White House kicks off Opioid, Heroin Awareness Week

This week, September 19-23, is Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week. As a part of this event, the White House released a fact sheet highlighting the administration’s recent efforts to combat this epidemic nationwide. Read More


09/22/2016

Research Watch - Sept. 2016 now available

Research Watch is an initiative by the residents of Case Western Reserve University/University Hospitals Case Medical Center in the form of a monthly e-publication, which aims to inform psychiatry residents and faculty of notable articles published in prominent research and educational journals, with the hope of promoting a culture of incorporating latest research in our psychiatric worldview. Read More


09/20/2016

Suicide spike raises concerns about access to psychiatric beds in U.S.

A recent spike in suicides in the US has raised concerns about the small number of psychiatric beds in the US for suicidal patients and others in need of psychiatric care. The article points out that the number of psychiatric beds for patients per capita in the US decreased by 95% between 1955 and 2005, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services. Read More


09/19/2016

Health spending on opioid treatment spikes to 1300% in four years

A new report shows a more than 1,300 percent rise in spending by health insurers in a four-year period on patients with a diagnosis of opioid dependence or abuse. Read More


09/16/2016

APA develops FAQs on choosing an EHR system

The American Psychiatric Association has developed Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to provide guidance to psychiatrists who are looking to adopt Electronic Health Records (EHR) into their practice. Read More


09/14/2016

OPPA offers Buprenorphine Waiver Training - Oct 15

The OPPA, in partnership with the Ohio Osteopathic Association and the American Society of Addiction Medicine, is offering a free training for physicians in Ohio who are interested in seeking a waiver to prescribe Buprenorphine in the treatment of opioid use disorders. Read More


09/13/2016

Medical marijuana in Ohio may take two years

Although medical marijuana became legal in Ohio this week, it may be as long as two years before patients are able to obtain the drug (Source: “Ohio's medical marijuana law goes in effect Thursday, but no pot for two years,” Columbus Dispatch, Sept. 6, 2016). Read More


09/13/2016

OPPA applauds decision by CMS to deny Healthy Ohio Program 1115 Demonstration Waiver

The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) denied the Healthy Ohio Program 1115 Demonstration Waiver which would have changed the method for how individuals maintain Medicaid eligibility. The OPPA has been a strong advocate against the demonstration waiver because of concerns about access to care created by requiring low-income Ohioans to pay premiums and locking them out when they can't pay. Read More


09/06/2016

Boxed warnings to be required for opioids, benzodiazepines

The Washington Post (8/31, McGinley) reports that the Food and Drug Administration “will require tough new warnings on the labels” of opioid pain medications, cough syrups containing opioids, and benzodiazepines “in an effort to alert” patients and physicians “to the serious risks, including death, of combining the drugs.” Read More


09/06/2016

Important changes in DSM-5 to become effective October 1

Each year on October 1, the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Edition, Clinical Modification (ICD-10), is updated to reflect diagnostic changes in medicine. Since 2010, no major updates have been permitted so that physician practices, facilities, and payers in the United States could update their systems during the transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10, which went into effect on October 1, 2015. The APA has advocated that changes be made to ICD-10 to reflect the updated diagnoses in DSM-5. Read More


09/06/2016

Study finds most Americans who screen positive for depression do not receive treatment

A study released this week found that most Americans who screen positive for depression don’t receive treatment — while most who did receive treatment don’t actually have the condition (Source: “Screening Positive For Depression Doesn’t Mean You’ll Get Treatment, Study Finds,” Kaiser Health News, Aug. 29, 2016). Read More


09/06/2016

Integrated mental and physical healthcare services lead to better outcomes, study finds

Patients receiving care in team-based practices that integrated mental and physical healthcare services had better clinical outcomes, lower total costs and used fewer healthcare services, according to a long-term study released this week (Source: “Study: Integrating Mental and Physical Healthcare Services Leads to Better Outcomes, Lower Costs,” Healthcare Informatics, Aug. 29, 2016). Read More


08/31/2016

Ohio leads nation in institution-to-community transitions

In 2015, Ohio transitioned 1,658 individuals from institutional settings to homes in the community, more than any other state. This was accomplished through Ohio's HOME Choice program, which enables citizens to receive services in the home and community based setting of their choice. Read More


08/30/2016

US Surgeon General asks health care practitioners to take the pledge on the opioid crisis

U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, M.D., M.B.A. took historic action last week by sending a personal letter to more than 2.3 million health care practitioners and public health leaders asking them to pledge their commitment to turn the tide on the opioid crisis by taking the pledge. Read More


08/30/2016

APA free course of the month for Sept - Advances in Therapeutic Interventions in Geriatric Psychiatry

Each month, members receive free access to a CME course on a trending topic. Most take less than 30 minutes to complete, perfect for over lunch. The September course is Advances in Therapeutic Interventions in Geriatric Psychiatry: Neuromodulation in the Treatment of Geriatric Psychiatric Disorders. Read More


08/29/2016

Drug overdoes in Ohio hit record high in 2015

Drug overdoses killed a record 3,050 people in Ohio last year, more than one-third of them from fentanyl, a super-potent opiate often mixed with heroin. Read More


08/26/2016

HHS study: Ten Percent ACA premium hike could hit Ohio hard

Ohioans buying insurance through the marketplace for President Barack Obama's health care law could be among the hardest hit in the country if insurance premiums were to rise by 10 percent in 2017, according to a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services report released this week. Read More


08/25/2016

CMS proposed rule for collaborative care included in 2017 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule

In case you missed it, in July 2016, The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) published a proposed rule to the 2017 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule that includes coverage for behavioral health collaborative care. Read More


08/22/2016

General Assembly, AG form study committee on opiate epidemic

Republican leaders of the state House and Senate joined with Attorney General Mike DeWine to create a citizen study committee to recommend ways to effectively drive home an anti-drug message from the time a student first steps on a bus for kindergarten. Read More


08/22/2016

State agencies request funding to oversee Ohio's medical marijuana program

The Department of Commerce and State Board of Pharmacy, two of the three state agencies that will regulate the program, plan to request money for the new Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program next week from the state controlling board. Read More


08/22/2016

Medicaid releases report card on managed care plans

Medicaid officials released the state’s second annual report card of managed-care plans last week. The managed-care report card was based on data provided by the plans and patient surveys. CareSource received the highest marks, earning 13 of a possible 15 stars. Read More


08/22/2016

Letter to editor: Pass the Mental Health Reform Act of 2016

OPPA President, Alan Levy, MD, in a letter to the editor published by The Columbus Dispatch, urges U.S. Senators to pass the Mental Health Reform Act of 2016 to help enforce an existing law that mental health be covered just like physical health. Read More


08/18/2016

Gov. Kasich appoints new member to state medical board

On August 12, Governor John Kasich appointed Ronan M. Factora, MD, of North Royalton, OH, to the State Medical Board of Ohio for a term beginning August 12, 2016, and ending Monday, March 18, 2019.


08/17/2016

Interested parties meet on psychologist prescribing bill

On Aug. 16, Ohio Psychiatric Physicians Association members Alan Levy, MD, Steve Jewell, MD and Megan Testa, MD, along with Executive Director Janet Shaw and legislative agent Michelle Fitzgibbon, represented the OPPA at an interested partieis meeting on Senate Bill (SB) 300, a bill to allow psychologists to prescribe medications.


08/16/2016

APA mental health registry being developed

The APA is committed to helping psychiatrists meet new Medicare quality reporting requirements and maintain professional recertification. As such, the APA is in the process of developing a mental health clinical data registry. Read More


08/16/2016

White house calls for more docs to be trained on MAT

Michael Botticelli, Director of National Drug Control Policy, wrote to all 50 Governors about the urgent need for more doctors to be trained and certified to treat people with prescription opioid and heroin use disorders. The Obama Administration is offering free buprenorphine trainings for providers all across the country and online. Read More


08/16/2016

Feds affirm prohibition on medical marijuana

The Federal Government has refused to allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes, reaffirming its conclusion that the drug’s therapeutic value has not been scientifically proven. Read More


08/15/2016

African american and hispanic children less likely to receive mental health treatment

A recently published study reveals that African American and Hispanic children are less likely to seek and receive mental health services. A number of factors contribute to the treatment disparity, including the stigma surrounding mental health, as well as a lack of accessibility to mental health professionals in communities with large minority populations. Read More


08/11/2016

Your help needed to pass the mental health reform act of 2016!

The House of Representatives passed the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2016 (HR 2646) by an overwhelming majority of 422-2 last month. There is now promising momentum to see this legislation passed into law this year, but your help is needed. Read More


08/10/2016

SAMHSA seeks comments on mental health and substance use parity

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Task Force wants to hear from patients, families, consumer advocates, providers, insurers and other stakeholders on their experience with mental health and substance use disorder parity requirements. Deadline to comment is Aug. 31! Read More


08/08/2016

ODM data conversion follow-up

Active Medicaid coverage is now in place for a significant majority of the individuals who met Medicaid “spend down” between August 2015 – July 2016. However, there are a number of individuals who did meet “spend down” during this time-frame who are not showing up as active Medicaid in MITS. A state level fix team is working on a correction that will establish active Medicaid coverage for these individuals. Read More


08/08/2016

CCS releases new video: mental health services in Ohio

The Center for Community Solutions has released its latest video on its Human Services 101 short video series! The new video focuses on the basics of mental health services in Ohio. Click here to view it, and click here to see the complete Human Services 101 guide. Read More


08/05/2016

Medicare hospital readmission penalties hit record high

Federal records show that 2,597 hospitals across the nation, or more than 50 percent of all hospitals, will be required to pay a total of $528 million in readmission penalties this year, almost $108 million more than last year. Read More


08/04/2016

CMS proposes rule to reimburse for psychiatric collaborative care

Medicare plans to begin reimbursement next year for collaborative care services, according to an announcement last month by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). In the proposed Medicare Physician Fee Schedule rule, CMS has included coverage for “Psychiatric Collaborative Care Management Services.” Read More


08/04/2016

Nominations sought for OPPA 2017 election

All OPPA members are invited to submit nominations for the OPPA 2017 election for the offices of: president-elect, treasurer and APA Representative. Nominations should include the full name of the OPPA member and the corresponding office(s) for which the individual is being nominated and be submitted by August 15 to oppa@ohiopsychiatry.org, attention: Steve Jewell, MD, chair of the Nominating Committee.


08/03/2016

OPPA submits comments to CMS on the Healthy Ohio 1115 Waiver

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will accept comments through Sun., Aug. 7 on the Ohio Department of Medicaid's Healthy Ohio 1115 waiver request. OPPA submitted comments expressing concern that if the waiver is approved, our state would be taking a step backwards by increasing the number of uninsured and decreasing the number of individuals with Medicaid coverage. Read More


08/02/2016

Ohio takes a lead in creating a national model to reward PCPs

Beginning January 1, 2017, Ohio's largest health insurance plans, Medicaid and Medicare, will reward primary care providers that do more to keep patients well and hold down the total cost of care. Read More


08/02/2016

CMS releases new hospital star ratings

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services published the much-anticipated Overall Hospital Quality Star Ratings on Wednesday after industry stakeholders and Congress pressured the agency to continue to delay their release. Read More


08/02/2016

Provision in medical marijuana law may be unconstitutional

Portions of Ohio’s medical marijuana law may need to be revisited by the General Assembly because they may not be constitutional. At issue are benchmarks contained in the legislation that was fast-tracked by the legislature to head off a medical marijuana proposal that was on its way to Ohio’s fall ballot. Read More


08/02/2016

Ohio Medicaid converts beneficiary data from old to new system

Over the weekend of July 30th, Ohio Medicaid converted all Medicaid beneficiaries in the Aged, Blind or Disabled (ABD) category from the old Medicaid eligibility system (CRIS-E) to the new Ohio Benefits eligibility system. This transition will accomplish Ohio’s conversion of Medicaid eligibility from the old “209(b)” method to the new “1634” method. While few - if any - problems were expected to occur, providers are asked to review certain cases involving spend down. Read More


08/01/2016

Children diagnosed with autism before age four more likely to get effective, evidence-based treatment

Diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder before the age of 4 means that a child is more likely to get effective, evidence-based treatment, such as behavioral therapy. According to Psychiatric Services in Advance, when children are diagnosed at after that threshold, they are less likely to receive such treatment, but they are more likely to be treated with medication, according to research published online today in Psychiatric Services in Advance. Read More


07/29/2016

Insurers accused of finding ways to avoid covering mental health conditions

According to Kaiser, some 43 million people in the US “suffer from depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions,” according to data from the Federal government, but more than 50 percent of those “who felt like they needed help last year, never got it.” Even those with insurance “complained of barriers to care.” The article by Kaiser Health News says the 2008 Mental Health Parity Act and the Affordable Care Act were supposed to address this problem. Read More


07/29/2016

APA free course of the month for Aug. - Updates in Women's Health

Psychopharmacologic Approaches in the Perinatal Period

Each month, the APA offers a free on-line course for members. Be sure to check out the topic for Aug.! Psychiatric disorders during pregnancy and the postpartum period are common and, as such, psychiatrists are often asked to treat pregnant and postpartum women. Unfortunately, psychiatrists often do not feel well-equipped to manage treatment of perinatal patients. Read More


07/28/2016

Public listening session: MAT for Opioid Disorder Reporting Requirements

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will hold a public listening session on August 2, 2016 from 3:00-5:00pm EST, to solicit comments regarding the supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking, “Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorders Reporting Requirements.” If you would like to attend this public listening session, either in person or by phone, RSVP here.


07/27/2016

OPPA comments on medical board rules related to telemedicine

Earlier this week, the OPPA submitted a letter to the State Medical Board of Ohio (SMBO) related to a draft rule on telemedicine. Specifically, the OPPA recommended changes that would make an important distinction for what a physician must do when they are the consulting physician versus when they are covering for a colleague. Read More


07/27/2016

Foundation now accepting nominations for Enlightenment Award

The Ohio Psychiatric Physicians Foundation (OPPF) is now accepting nominations for the 2016 Enlightenment Award. This award recognizes an outstanding activity, presentation or news article in 2016 which enhances the public’s access to treatment and/or enhances the public’s understanding of mental disorders or decreases the stigma often associated with mental illness. Read More


07/27/2016

Only 10% of TRS patients receive the superior treatment clozapine

Despite this evidence, in most settings only 10 percent of patients with Treatment-Resistant Schizophrenia are receiving clozapine even though clinical guidelines recommend offering clozapine after two other medications have not worked. Instead, patients are usually given 15 to 20 different medications sequentially over the course of a decade or more before clozapine is considered. Read More


07/25/2016

OhioMHAS names new chief clinical officer at Twin Valley Behavioral Healthcare

The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) Friday announced the appointment of Ann Morrison, MD, as the chief clinical officer of Twin Valley Behavioral Healthcare (TVBH). Morrison, who will assume her new post Monday, July 25, will be responsible for leading and recruiting a diverse medical staff and oversee collaborative efforts between the hospital and community partners. Read More


07/21/2016

Legislature's plan not healthy for Ohio

Medicaid proposal would roll back gains, hurt minority communities

Policy Matters Ohio commentary: The Ohio Department of Medicaid is asking the federal government for permission to change Ohio's Medicaid program in ways that will make it far less effective. Medicaid provides health care to those who can't afford health insurance. It is our largest insurer, covering a quarter of Ohioans. Read More


07/20/2016

Over half of Medicaid expansion enrollees treated for MH and AOD disorders

A recent Columbus Dispatch article highlighted the fact that over half of the 950,000 previously uninsured Ohioans who have received health care coverage through the expansion of Medicaid utilized mental health and addiction treatment services after enrollment. Read More


07/19/2016

Psychiatrists and patients are encouraged to file complaints with ODI about insurance companies

Increasingly, the OPPA is hearing from patients with private insurance who are unable to get an appointment with a psychiatrist even though there may be many psychiatrists identified on the carrier's in-network provider directory. These patients - in fact anyone (including psychiatrists) - can file a complaint with ODI so that the matter can be reviewed. Read More


07/19/2016

CDC issues data on suicide rates by occupation

A new article from the Centers for Disease Control reviews suicide rates by occupation and found that the highest suicide rates were among persons working in farming, fishing, and forestry (84.5 per 100,000); construction and extraction (53.5); and installation, maintenance, and repair (47.9). Read More


07/19/2016

Research Watch - July 2016 now available

Research Watch is an initiative by the residents of Case Western Reserve University/University Hospitals Case Medical Center in the form of a monthly e-publication, which aims to inform psychiatry residents and faculty of notable articles published in prominent research and educational journals, with the hope of promoting a culture of incorporating latest research in our psychiatric worldview. Read More


07/19/2016

OPPA Advocacy results in changes by SMBO to application for licensure

As a result of intense advocacy efforts initiated by the OPPA several years ago, the SMBO has finally voted to eliminate a question from its application for medical licensure that require answers regarding a physician's mental health history without regard to whether a condition currently impairs or limits a physician's ability to practice medicine with reasonable skill and safety. Read More


07/18/2016

Save the date for Integrated Care Workshop and OPPA Annual Psychiatric Update - March 11-12

Psychiatrists are in a unique position to help shape mental health care delivery in the current rapidly evolving healthcare reform landscape using integrated care approaches. Make plans to attend the workshop "Applying the Integrated Care Approach: Practical Skills for the Consulting Psychiatrist on Sat., Mar. 11 from 1 - 5 p.m. Read More


07/18/2016

Number of practicing psychiatrists has stalled over the past decade

“The number of practicing psychiatrists in the US has stalled over the last decade,” research suggests. After analyzing “data from the Health Resources and Services Administration,” researchers found “a 0.2% decline in the number of psychiatrists in practice, compared with increases for neurologists (35.7%), primary care physicians (9.5%), and all practicing physicians (14.2%).” Read More


07/15/2016

CMS issues guidance for states on value based purchasing

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released guidance to states regarding participation in value based purchasing arrangements in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program. Read More


07/15/2016

Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) passes Senate

The Senate overwhelmingly voted (92 to 2) to adopt the conference report accompanying S. 524, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA). The Senate’s action follows the House, which voted to adopt the report last week (407 to 5). CARA takes a number of important first steps to address the opioid crisis plaguing our country. Read More


07/15/2016

CCS releases updated county profiles for Ohio

The Center for Community Solutions released data fact sheets for each of Ohio's 88 counties. The profiles feature data related to the health and human services in Ohio and are a useful resource for those looking to better understand the needs in their community. Read More


07/12/2016

Medical board seeks comments on new rule for telemedicine/telepsychiatry

The Medical Board and the Common Sense Initiative Office are seeking comments on the Medical Board’s proposed new language for Rule 4731-11-09, Prescribing to Persons Not Seen by the Physician, and Rule 4731-11-01, Definitions for the rules concerning the prescribing of controlled substances. Read More


07/11/2016

Medicare will begin reimbursement of psychiatric collaborative care management services in 2017

This is a HUGE win for APA, psychiatrists and patients with mental health and substance use disorders. The APA has fought hard for the creation of appropriate payment codes that reflect the work of physicians—including psychiatrists—participating in collaborative care models treating patients with mental illness in primary care settings. Read More


07/11/2016

ODM and OMHAS issue updated workbook on limitations of billing

On June 15, the Departments of Medicaid and Mental Health and Addiction Services shared a coverage and limitations Excel workbook that includes all codes and guidance to practitioners on what the limitations of billing are, as well as tabs that cover overall benefit packages. Read More


07/11/2016

Medicaid delays implementation date for use of E&M and other codes until July 1, 2017

In recognition of the time and technical assistance needed for providers and system stakeholders to thoughtfully transition to the new evaluation and management (E & M) and nursing activity code set, the Departments of Medicaid and Mental Health and Addiction Services announced today a revised implementation schedule for Behavioral Health Redesign. Read More


07/11/2016

New federal buprenorphine prescribing rule

Access to medication-assisted treatment for people addicted to heroin and pain pills will expand under a new U.S. Department of Health and Human Services rule. This change will allow qualified physicians to treat up to 275 patients, up from 100, with buprenorphine, a medication that blocks opioids from affecting the brain. Read More


07/07/2016

Ohio Medicaid ends the year $1.3 billion under buget

Ohio Medicaid enrolled 3.0 million Ohioans on average monthly in the state fiscal year ending June 30, 2016 (SFY 2016), more than 32,000 people below what was projected to occur. Read More


07/07/2016

Reminder: deadline to enroll "affiliate rendering practitioners" for Medicaid is Jan. 1 - not Jul. 1

The Ohio Department of Medicaid has received a number of inquiries regarding the deadline for providers of community mental health and/or community substance use disorder services to enroll and affiliate rendering practitioners with their agency(ies). As a reminder, the implementation date for requiring rendering practitioners on Medicaid community behavioral health service claims is January 1, 2017 (not July 1, 2016). Read More


07/06/2016

Archived APA webinar available on MACRA

On June 29, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) presented a free webinar for APA members entitled “Payment Reform & Quality Reporting Under the MACRA.” The Medicare Access & CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) completely transforms Medicare payment and quality reporting, though the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and new incentives for “advanced” alternative payment models (APMs). If you were unable to participate in the webinar, it is not too late. Read More


07/06/2016

Join OPPA's new "closed" Facebook group for members only!

Want to connect with other members of the OPPA for both personal and professional networking? The OPPA has created a new closed FB group so that members can ask one another questions, share timely and pertinent news and articles and much more. Anyone can see who is in the group, however, members must be approved by the OPPA and only members can see posts. Join today! Read More


07/05/2016

SAMHSA issues sample scripts for integrated care conversations

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Agency (SAMHSA) recently issued sample scripts to help guide providers and patients in conversations. Read More


07/05/2016

Ohio Medicaid submits healthy Ohio waiver

On June 30, 2016, the Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) submitted a Section 1115 waiver request to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to implement the Healthy Ohio Program. CMS will post Ohio's waiver request online and invite public comment. Read More


07/01/2016

Warning signs that trigger a violation of mental health parity

Recently, the departments of Health & Human Services and Labor issued a list of health insurance plan provisions identified as "warning signs" that should "trigger care analysis" to compare terms applied to medical/surgical coverage to determine whether a violation of the mental health parity act might be present. Read More


07/01/2016

Online training for new acute pain opioid prescribing guidelines

At the end of June, prescribers in Ohio received information from the Governor's Cabinet Opiate Action TEAM (GCOAT) asking them to complete an on-line training module regarding the new acute pain prescribing guidelines issues earlier this year. Read More


06/30/2016

JMOC discusses value-based payments

The Joint Medicaid Oversight Committee (JMOC) met recently to discuss value-based payments. Sukey Barnum with Health Management Associates presented on value-based payments across the healthcare system, while representatives from MetroHealth and LeadingAge Ohio presented on value-based payments from a provider perspective. Read More


06/30/2016

Explore new telepsychiatry toolkit

The use of video-based telepsychiatry helps meet patients’ needs for convenient, affordable and readily-accessible mental health services. APA is helping psychiatrists learn about and adopt telepsychiatry through its Committee on Telepsychiatry, and the Telepsychiatry Toolkit. The Toolkit features leading psychiatrists covering history, training, practice/clinical, reimbursement and legal issues. Read More


06/30/2016

Guide to surviving residency is a great resource for new psychiatry residents

Written by residents and fellows, for residents and fellows, to help with the day-to-day challenges of training. The online Guide offers practical advice on more than 50 topics – ranging from surviving on call and writing effective notes, to subspecialty training and negotiating for that first post-residency job. Read More


06/30/2016

APA free course of the month for July - Updates in Neuropsychiatry

Each month, members receive free access to a CME course on a trending topic. Most take less than 30 minutes to complete, perfect for over lunch. The July course is Updates in Neuropsychiatry: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – What Electrophysiology and Neuroimaging Can Tell Us About Its Pathophysiology. Read More


06/28/2016

AMA drops pain as a "fifth vital sign"

The nation’s largest medical society, the American Medical Association, is recommending that pain be removed as a “fifth vital sign” in professional medical standards – a move critics say will make it even more difficult for pain sufferers to have their pain properly diagnosed and treated. Read More


06/27/2016

APA wants to hear from you if you have knowledge of collaborative care model

The APA is interested in identifying practices and/or physicians that have experience performing or have direct professional knowledge of psychiatric collaborative management services, as defined by the IMPACT/DIAMOND/COMPASS/AIMS models, in an effort to gather information. If you are working in such a practice or are such a physician, please contact Becky Yowell at byowell@psych.org and include your name and contact information, including your current email address. Read More


06/27/2016

2016 State Health Assessment draft released

The Governor's Office of Health Transformation and the Ohio Department of Health has released a draft of the 2016 state health assessment - a comprehensive and actionable picture of health and well-being in Ohio. Read More

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