Latest News


National opioid settlement begins to take shape

As a critical trial deadline bears down, lawyers for states and the three largest drug distributors in the country, along with two manufacturers, have agreed on a framework for a deal to resolve thousands of opioid cases with a settlement worth nearly $50 billion in cash and addiction treatments.


Governor DeWine unveils the STRONG Ohio bill

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine unveiled a series of legislative proposals to better protect Ohio citizens and law enforcement officers from those with a propensity toward violence and to provide help to individuals who are a danger to themselves or others. The STRONG Ohio bill, which is sponsored by Senator Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls) and is part of Governor DeWine’s broader STRONG Ohio violence prevention plan, will preserve constitutional rights, expand treatment options, and prevent violence. Read More


TAC's first national AOT symposium celebrates a first-of-its-kind AOT white paper

The Treatment Advocacy Center gathered nearly 300 advocates, judges, treatment providers and consumers in Columbus, Ohio, this week for the first national AOT Symposium. The symposium also celebrated the release of a first-of-its-kind AOT white paper. Produced in coordination with the American Psychiatric Association and Northeast Ohio Medical University experts Mark Munetz, MD (an OPPA past-president) and Deb Hrouda, PhD, the white paper sets forth essential elements of an AOT program and provides 10 building blocks for establishing and maintaining a new AOT program. Read More


6th Annual Current Concepts in Integrated Healthcare

Summa Health Center is hosting the 6th Annual Concepts in Integrated Healthcare on Sat., Nov. 9, from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Topics include: Treating Adult ADHD with Co-Occuring Substance Use Disorders, Controversies in Addiction Medicine, Waiting for the Last Breath and more. Read More


Governor DeWine announces programs to prevent custody relinquishment, modernize systems of care for multi-system youth

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine recently announced that the Ohio Departments of Medicaid and Job and Family Services will issue $31 million in new funding to support youth and families served by multiple systems. In addition to providing direct support to children and families, these funds will also help to modernize Ohio’s 88 county Family and Children First Councils, which coordinate care for children served by multiple systems. Read More


Federal watchdog finds that CMS quality measures need improvement

A new federal study has found quality measures adopted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services may not be accurate indicators of actual care that patients receive (Source: “Medicare quality measures need improvement, says government watchdog,” Modern Healthcare, Sept. 20, 2019). Read More


The 2019 State Health Assessment by ODH is now available

The 2019 State Health Assessment (SHA) is a comprehensive look at the health status of Ohio's residents and includes a summary report of key health factors across the state prepared by the Health Policy Institute of Ohio (HPIO). This year, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) has also added an interactive website to make data more easily accessible for local partners.


ODI appeal process recovers millions on health insurance claims

More than $21 million in previously denied health care benefits and services to Ohioans has been recovered through an appeals process started by the Ohio Department of Insurance (ODI) nearly two decades ago.


CDC awards Ohio $56 million to address drug addiction crisis

On September 4, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that Ohio will get $55.8 million in grants to fight the drug epidemic – part of $1.8 billion that the Centers for Disease Control and the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration awarded across the nation.


ODH reports that Ohio overdose death rates dropped 22% in 2018

Fatal drug overdoses dropped more than 22% in Ohio last year, the first decline since 2009 and a sign that the state may be turning the corner on the decade-old drug epidemic. County coroners reported 3,764 accidental drug deaths in 2018, 1,090 fewer than the previous year’s record high of 4,854, according to preliminary data on unintentional drug deaths reported to the Ohio Department of Health (ODH).


MHA Franklin County 2019 Children’s Mental Health Conference – Oct. 2

Mental Health America of Franklin County will host its 2019 Children’s Mental Health Conference, “Working with Youth and Young Adults Who Experience Bipolar Disorder or Psychosis,” on Oct. 2 in Columbus.


First responders get help after Dayton's Oregon District shooting

The Dayton Daily News reports "It took Dayton police just 32 seconds to stop the mass shooter who opened fire in the Oregon District. Sixteen days later, mental health experts continue to give the officers and other city workers who rushed to the scene the help they need now." Read More


MHA Back to School Toolkit - available Aug. 23

Mental Health America is gearing up to release its 2019 Back to School Toolkit (available Aug. 23) which provides information and resources for adults and young people about the issues of stress and loneliness, which may lead to symptoms of mental health conditions if not addressed early. Read More


Call to Action: Contact Ohio House members - ask them to NOT cosponsor Rep. Manning's psychologists prescribing bill

State Representative Don Manning (R-Mahoning) recently sent an email request to all members of the Ohio House of Representatives urging them to sign on as a cosponsor of legislation he plans to introduce that would allow certain psychologists to prescribe medications (without appropriate medical training) to Ohioans who have a mental illness and/or substance use disorder. Contact your representatives and urge them to not cosponsor this legislation. Read More


Health Affairs Events: Telehealth

The December 2018 issue of Health Affairs is dedicated to Telehealth, a broad range of technologies used to connect clinicians to each other and to their patients. Distinguished authors examine the broad reach of Telehealth and also highlight significant areas of unrealized potential. Read More


DeWine announces plans for development of Ohio school safety center to help prevent school violence

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced that he issued an executive order creating a specialized division of Ohio Homeland Security (OHS) devoted exclusively to the safety of Ohio’s students and schools. Read More


National Recovery Month Toolkit

This September will mark the 30th anniversary of National Recovery Month to help increase awareness and understanding of mental and substance use disorders, and to celebrate persons in recovery. This year’s theme is Join the Voices for Recovery: Together We Are Stronger. Read More


Dayton shooting stirs gun debate

Following the tragic incidents in Dayton’s Oregon District, Governor DeWine introduced several proposals to curb gun violence and broaden access to mental health services. State legislators have also introduced a series of firearm bills in the following weeks. Read More


OPPA signs on to support Governor DeWine's plan to reduce the likelihood of another tragic loss of Ohioans

The OPPA, along with other members of the Coalition for Healthy Communities sends letter to Senate President Obhof and Speaker Householder urging them upon returning to session in September, to make Governor DeWine's proposal to reduce the likelihood of another tragic loss of Ohioans its first order of business. Read More


OPPA convinces committee to drop their support for approving marijuana to treat autism and anxiety

OPPA expressed its opposition to the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Committee in writing and during expert testimony provided by OPPA Secretary, Tina Weston, MD. The decision to add autism and anxiety to the list of 21 medical conditions for treatment with medical marijuana has gone on for almost a year, when the committee voted last fall to recommend the SMBO approve marijuana to treat these two conditions. Read More


Mass Violence in America: Causes, Impact and Solutions

National Council for Behavioral Health

“What’s happening in our society is not a mental illness, it’s a social illness. Hate and anger are not mental illnesses.” – Dr. Joe Parks, Medical Director of the National Council and Co-Chair of the Medical Director Institute on the findings of a comprehensive report released last week, Mass Violence in America: Causes, Impacts and Solutions. The report examines the reasons, contributing factors and actionable solutions surrounding mass violence through the lens of behavioral health. Read More


Study: Ohioans lost 500,000 years of life due to gun deaths in last decade

A new Ohio study found that nearly 500,000 years of life have been lost over the past decade from firearm fatalities (Source: “Half-A-Million Years of Ohioans’ Life Expectancy Lost to Gun Deaths,” The Columbus Dispatch, August 9, 2019). Read More


Beware of scam targeting prescribers licensed in Ohio

OPPA members should be on alert for a scam that has been targeting Ohio healthcare licensees. Scammers have been calling prescribers and pharmacists saying they are being investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and their DEA registration will be revoked or they will be arrested if they do not agree to pay a fine immediately via phone or fax. Read More


Are video games or mental illness causing America's mass shootings?

No, research shows

In addition to mental illness, research has long debunked another common explanation among politicians: that violent video games are driving the mass shooting crisis. The idea was floated again by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Trump, who talked of restricting “gruesome and grisly video games. There is, however, no statistical link between playing violent video games and shooting people, said Jonathan Metzl, director of the Center for Medicine, Health and Society at Vanderbilt University. Read More


APA joins call to action to prevent firearm-related injury and death

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) today joined six other physician and health professional organizations in calling for action to address the public health epidemic of firearm-related injury and death. In 2017, nearly 40,000 people died as a result of a firearm, a 20-year high, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Read More


Ohio Medicaid gets $100 million budget increase to address mental health and addiction

The Ohio Department of Medicaid is receiving $100 million to increase payments to mental health and addiction recovery providers, who say they have been financially struggling under changes made in recent years (Source: “Ohio Medicaid gets $100 million with aim to improve mental health care,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, Aug. 2, 2019). Read More


OPPA launches new web page for disaster and traumatic event information

Disasters and traumatic events, like the mass shooting in Dayton Ohio on August 4, 2019, can have tremendous psychological impacts on individuals, even if they are not directly involved. People can experience a range of emotions, including anger, frustration and sadness, and can react in many different ways, including physical and psychological symptoms. Check out information by the OPPA/APA. Read More


OhioMHAS has launched a new

*NEW* OhioMHAS has launched a new “After a Disaster” web page ( that pools together helpful resources for communities and individuals experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters. Please bookmark and share this resource widely. Read More


Governor DeWine announces proposals to reduce gun violence, increase MH prevention and treatment

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has announced a series of legislative reforms to address gun violence and outlined further action to increase mental health prevention, identification, and treatment to better protect Ohioans. “Gun violence doesn’t just take the form of mass shootings, people are victims every day in Ohio and across the country,” said Governor DeWine. Let us know what you think of the proposals. Read More


One-bite program, a confidential monitoring program, is now available for Medical Board licensees

Through the combined efforts of the Ohio Psychiatric Physicians Association, Ohio State Medical Association, Ohio Physicians Health Program (OPHP) and other medical groups, licensees can now seek treatment for a substance use disorder without disclosing information to the Medical Board unless certain conditions exist. Read More


Please step up to serve your association

Nominations are now open for OPPA's 2020 election for the offices of president-elect, secretary and APA Rep. Submit recommendations to


OPPA expresses condolences to all affected by the mass shooting in Dayton

Disaster resources are available

The Ohio Psychiatric Physicians Association expresses its condolences and concern to those affected by the tragic mass shootings in downtown Dayton. As the potential mental health impact of this situation 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 shootings. Read More


FCC to prioritize telemedicine funding based on

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is moving forward with plans to reform how funding is distributed for the agency's rural telemedicine program. The FCC voted to adopt a report and order for its Rural Health Care Program, which helps fund broadband and telecommunications services for some health care providers in rural areas. A major part of the program involves subsidizing the difference between urban and rural rates for telecommunications services. Read More


Report: Overdose death rates now highest in urban areas

U.S. drug overdose deaths, which have been concentrated in Appalachia and other rural areas for more than a dozen years, are back to being most common in big cities, according to a government report issued Friday. The report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the urban overdose death rate surpassed the rural rate in 2016 and 2017. Rates for last year and this year are not yet available. But experts, citing available data, say the urban rate is likely to stay higher in the near future. Read More


ODM BH rate increases and policy updates

The Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) behavioral health (BH) policy changes and payment rate adjustments went into effect on August 1, 2019. These changes are intended to help stabilize the provider network and support continued access to Ohioans in need of addiction and mental health treatment. Read More


OARRS use by physicians and pharmacists in Ohio hits record level

White House Office of National Drug Control Policy Praises Gov. DeWine’s RecoveryOhio Initiative

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy Executive Director Steven Schierholt were joined today by U.S. Drug Czar Jim Carroll, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, to announce that use of the Ohio Automated Rx Reporting System (OARRS) system used to track prescriptions of controlled medications recently surpassed 1 million daily queries. Read More


New CME module on Engagement Interview Protocol (EIP)

When suffering illnesses, people from different cultural backgrounds usually have their own illness beliefs, the understanding of the meanings of their symptoms based on their cultures and traditions. Due to differences in cultural and educational backgrounds, patients and their providers frequently have different views about an illness. Read More


APA FREE course of the month - August 2019

Being a Good Partner to Law Enforcement: Strategies for Crisis Providers

In addition to Crisis Intervention Training (CIT), this course describes strategies for mental health providers and law enforcement to collaborate on innovative interventions at other points along the crisis continuum, while balancing the interests of compassionate mental healthcare and public safety. Read More


OPPA members' study published in Academic Psychiatry

Congratulations Dr. Levy and all who were involved!

Characteristics Associated with Depression and Suicidal Thoughts Among Medical Residents: Results from the DEPRESS-Ohio Study has been published in Academic Psychiatry. The study, spear headed by former president, Alan Levy, MD, who served as lead investigator, was developed and conducted by members of the OPPA's Depression in Medical Trainees Committee. Read More


Experts argue for addition of suicide-specific diagnoses in DSM

From the American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting, held in May, an internationally renowned expert in suicide says that the existence of a suicide-specific diagnosis would compel health systems to create tools to determine the suicide risk of individuals. Read More


In case you didn't know: Pharmacists can dispense multiple simultaneous Rx refills without calling the prescriber

In 2017, there was a change in the Ohio Revised Code that authorizes a pharmacist who is filling or refilling a prescription that has one or more refills to dispense the drug in a quantity or amount that varies from the quantity or amount that would otherwise be dispensed. This authority is contingent on meeting conditions specified in the law and can be overridden by physicians stating on the Rx specified that the quantity or amount to be dispensed may not vary from the quantity or amount specified in the prescription. The OPPA would like to hear from members. Read More


In case you missed it: Mark Hurst, MD appointed as Medical Director of Ohio Department of Health

Mark Hurst, MD, who previously served as director and medical director of the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OMHAS) was appointed as Medical Director of the Department of Health on June 13. The OPPA thanks Dr. Hurst for his many years of service with the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OHMAS) and looks forward to continuing to work him in his new position with the Ohio Department of Health. Read More


More than half of people who misuse prescription opioids also binge drink

More than half of the 4.2 million Americans who misused prescription opioids between 2012 and 2014 also engaged in binge drinking, according to a new study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Read More


Only half of Ohioans eligible for medical marijuana have bought drug

More than 42,000 people can legally buy medical marijuana in Ohio with a doctor’s recommendation, however, according to state records, only about half of them have. When asked why they haven’t bought any medicinal cannabis, patients cited a common reason: cost. Read More


Ohio House and Senate unable to reach a deal before Sunday deadline

First time since 2009

Not being able to reach a compromise, Ohio lawmakers failed to pass a state budget agreement by the June 30 deadline. As a result, both chambers passed a temporary budget extension of 17 days to keep the government running, which was signed by Governor DeWine.


Letter to the editor corrects false information about Ohio's SMI exemption from the death penalty

A letter to the editor, written by OPPA President-Elect Megan Testa, MD and Retired Supreme Court Justice Evelyn Stratton was published in the paper and online in response to of the Tribune Chronicle's in response to an editorial with false information about companion bills in the Ohio House and Senate that would remove the death penalty sentencing option for individuals, who at the time of the crime, were diagnosed with a severe mental illness and diminished capacity. Read More


New Fact Sheet on Queer Populations Now Available

APA’s Division of Diversity and Health Equity has published a mental health fact sheet on queer populations. The fact sheet covers information on demographics, terms , trends in mental health care, FAQs, and tips to communicate with patients. Read More


APA FREE course of the month - July 2019

Computer Decision Support System for First-Episode Psychosis Pharmacotherapy

Coordinated Specialty Care (CSC) is a team-based, multi-element treatment for first episode psychosis (FEP) that integrates medical, psychosocial, and rehabilitative interventions in a recovery-oriented, collaborative approach to care. Read More


Unique immersion program allows policymakers to become medical students

Leaders at The Ohio State University College of Medicine and The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center are helping elected officials, policymakers and other community leaders gain new perspectives on what it takes to become a doctor or medical researcher — and how training provided by state-funded academic medical centers directly impacts the health and well-being of Ohio residents. Read More


APA begins work on DSM-5-TR

Now six years since the publication of DSM-5, APA has begun work on a text revision, DSM-5-TR. The goal is to ensure that the text in DSM-5 is accurate and up to date and thus continues to be useful for clinical, educational, research, and forensic purposes. Read More


NCBH develops guide and recommends LAMs as first time treatment option

The National Council for Behavioral Health's (NCBH) Guide to Long-acting Medications (LAM) is a call to Action for psychiatrists and other clinicians and behavioral health organizations to increase the use of long-acting medications and recommends LAMs be considered as first-time treatment option. Read More


Long-acting antipsychotics help cut risk for arrest in patients with schizophrenia

News from the American Psychiatric Association

After initiation of treatment with long-acting injectable antipsychotics, the incidence of arrest decreased among patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder and a previous history of arrest during a 2-year follow-up period at a community mental health center, according to a poster presented at APA annual meeting. Read More


OhioMHAS offers more buprenorphine waiver trainings

The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services continues waiver trainings for medical providers. These trainings are 1.5 days and have been approved for CMEs. Food will be provided at no cost. Participants will receive a course manual and a $1,300 stipend for providers who obtain their waiver within 100 days post training. Read More


Report recommends local strategies to address addiction crisis in Appalachian counties

The National Association of Counties (NACo) and the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) released the report, “Opioids in Appalachia: The Role of Counties in Reversing a Regional Epidemic,” in an effort to combat the opioid epidemic that has plagued Ohio and other states in the region. Read More


Medical board rejects medical marijuana as treatment for opioid addiction

On June 12, citing a lack of scientific proof, the State Medical Board of Ohio voted against allowing physicians to recommend marijuana to treat opioid use disorder. Read More


Ohio Medicaid seeks public input on how Medicaid managed care can work better

Responses will be accepted through July 31, 2019

One June 13, 2019, the Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) released a request for information (RFI) to gather public inputas ODM begins the process to select new managed care partners. ODM’s first step in the process is collecting feedback on current Medicaid services, what is working and ideas for improvement. OPPA members are encouraged to respond to the RFI as soon as possible, prior to July 31, 2019. Read More


Circumstances under which pharmacists can dispense naltrexone

Senate Bill 119 of the 132nd General Assembly, also known as Daniel’s Law, made changes to Ohio law authorizing a pharmacist, under certain conditions, to dispense naltrexone without a prescription. Read More


Save the date for OPPA 2020 Psychiatric Update - March 14-15

The OPPA will once again hold its 2020 meeting at the Marriott University in Columbus, OH on March 14-15, 2019. This will be the 70th Anniversary of the OPPA and it is sure to have something for everyone. More details to come, however, hold the date now on your calendar so you can join us!


Legislators asked to spare those with an SMI from the death penalty

Progress is made in both the House and Senate to pass the legislation

Ohio House Bill 136, which would spare an individual diagnosed with a severe mental illness, as defined in the bill, would be exempt from the death penalty passed by the House last week and will now go on to the Senate. At the same time, Senate Bill 54, companion legislation, held its second hearing this week for proponent testimony. Read More


Ohio Legislative Mental Health Caucus meets

Members of the Mental Health Caucus convened for a breakfast gathering on June 5 at the Statehouse. The event was well attended with nearly 50 participants. Convening the Mental Health Caucus provides another opportunity to discuss the importance of mental health public policy and funding in the budget, as well as pending legislation, and behavioral health redesign. Read More


OPWC launches FREE online courses on improving physician well-being

The Ohio Physician Wellness Coalition (OPWC), which represents Ohio physicians and hospitals and focuses on addressing physician burnout, launched six videos in its continuing medical education (CME) wellness video series. Read More


APA FREE course of the month - June 2019

Culturally Sensitive Clinical Care of Older LGBTQ Adults

The population of the United States is aging and growing increasingly diverse, creating a demographic imperative to address diversity among older adults. Diversity encompasses ethnicity, cultural background, gender, sexual orientation, sexual identity, and immigration status. Read More


J-1 Visa Waiver Program - third application cycle open until June 30, 2019

The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) participates in the State 30 Program to increase access to health care services for Ohio’s underserved populations. J-1 visa waivers allow foreign medical graduates to remain in the United States after completing residency/fellowship training in exchange for a three-year commitment to provide health care services in underserved areas. Read More


More buprenorphine MAT training opportunities offered by OhioMHAS

The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) is continuing to offer buprenorphine Medication Assisted Treatment trainings for medical providers. These trainings are 1.5 days and offer CMEs, free food, a course manual and a $1,300 stipend for providers who obtain their waiver within 100 days post training. Read More


New APA child and adolescent telepsychiatry toolkit

This APA toolkit, developed in partnership with the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, features a 19-video series from leading child and adolescent psychiatrists about issues unique to practicing telepsychiatry with youth. It covers topics such as how to set up a virtual telepsychiatry space, legal/ regulatory issues, reimbursement, and working in special environments like the juvenile justice system. Read More


CMS retreats on Medicare Part D protected classes change

In case you missed it, the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) decided against limiting coverage in the Six Protected Classes of medicines in Part D, which include: antidepressants, anti-psychotics, anticonvulsants, immunosupressants for transplant rejection, antiretrovials and cancer drugs. Read More


OPPA submits testimony on ODM's Proposed Telehealth Rule

Steve Jewell, MD, provided written testimony on behalf of the Ohio Psychiatric Physicians Association to the Ohio Department of Medicaid during a public hearing held May 20, 2019 on Proposed Telehealth Rule 5160-1-18. Dr. Jewell expressed concerns about case managers not being included in the draft as well as language that restricted evaluation and management billing codes. Read More


Pursuit of Parity: Where Ohio stands on insurance coverage of mental illness and substance use disorders

Analysis by the Center for Community Solutions

A recent analysis by the Center for Community Solutions, despite mental health parity laws that were passed more than a decade ago, patients/consumers have very little awareness of their insurance coverage rights for mental health and substance use disorder treatment. Further, Ohio patients in need of behavioral health services are up to five times more likely to have to go out of network for treatment than patients in need of medical or surgical care. Read More


"As Suicides Rise, Insurers Find Ways to Deny Mental Health Coverage"

Bloomberg Businessweek, May 16

The U.S. is in the midst of a mental health crisis. In 2017, 47,000 Americans died by suicide and 70,000 from drug overdoses. And 17.3 million adults suffered at least one major depressive episode. Yet, insurers are still not being held accountable for complying with mental health parity laws. Read More


BH Redesign next steps: providers and managed care plans

Medicaid Advanced Payment Agreements and the initiation of repayment

The Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) and the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) continue to evaluate the early effects of Behavioral Health (BH) Redesign and BH Integration into managed care on the comprehensive behavioral health system. As part of these efforts, a contingency plan was developed with the Medicaid managed care plans (MCPs) to assist with cash flow to community behavioral health centers (PT84s/PT95s) in the transition to managed care billing through BH Integration. Read More


OPPA provides MH resources for those impacted by the deadly storms in Ohio

Press Release

As the potential mental health impact of this tragedy 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 storms. This tragedy can have a tremendous psychological impact on all those directly and indirectly affected. Read More


New study aims to reduce overdoses in Ohio

“Community healing” is moving from trite sentiment to executable action item under a new federally-funded study. The aptly named HEALing Communities study is backed by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Read More


OPPA officers begin their terms for 2019-2020

At the conclusion of today's American Psychiatric Association's Annual Meeting, new officers for the OPPA begin their 2019-2020 terms: President - Victoria Kelly, MD (Toledo); President-Elect - Megan Testa, MD; Treasurer - Molly McVoy, MD (Cleveland); Secretary - Christina Westan, MD (Dayton); and Immediate Past President - William (Bill) Resch, DO (Columbus). Read More


The use of MAT between white patients and black patients

HPIO releases Ohio Addiction Policy Inventory and Scorecard: Prevention, Treatment and Recovery

In case you missed it, as national drug overdose rates climbed in recent years, white patients were given more prescriptions for medication-assisted treatment. There was no such increase for African Americans, according to a new national study (Source: “Addiction Medicine Mostly Prescribed to Whites, Even As Opioid Deaths Rose among Blacks,” Kaiser Health News, May 8, 2019). Read More


AMA prior authorization survey - impact on patients (findings from 2018)

In case you missed it, the AMA conducted a survey of 1,000 practicing physicians (40% primary care and 60% specialists) asking for feedback on prior authorizations and its impact on patients. Read More


APA recently added new information to its telepsychiatry resource page

New resources include: APA Launches New Child & Adolescent Telepsychiatry Toolkit; Meet Members of the APA's Committee on Telepsychiatry; How to Evaluate Telepsychiatry Job Opportunities and APA and ATA Release Telemental Health Guide.


The Mindful Healthcare Summit - May 23-27, 2019

A free online event through a partnership with OPWC

The Ohio Physician Wellness Coalition (of which OPPA is a member) is pleased to announce its partnership with The Awake Network’s Mindful Healthcare Summit. This is a free online event for medical professionals, students, and administrators examining how mindfulness and compassion practices can help address the complex issues of chronic stress, and overwork, and the epidemic of burnout among health care professionals. Read More


CPT Coding, Documentation and Billing for Psychiatry workshop - June 20, Columbus

The OPPA will be hosting a day-long coding workshop in Columbus, designed for psychiatrists and their new or experienced billing and coding staff and all other mental health professionals who want to stay current with new information, rules and policies that impact billing for mental health services. Read More


DEA-X Waiver Trainings

The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services has added additional DEA-X waiver trainings. This free, 1.5 day training is open to all physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants who hold an Ohio license and a current DEA number. Residents, PA and NPA students may also attend the training. Physicians who attend the training, obtain their waiver, and fulfill reimbursement criteria will receive $1,300. Read More


APA FREE course of the month - April 2019

Complementary and Integrative Approaches to Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are common and complex neurodevelopmental disorders which may present at different stages with different target symptoms. This course discusses how families often utilize complementary and integrative treatments for ASD, the evidence for such use, and risks and benefits of these treatments.


APA FREE course of the month - May 2019

Identifying and Engaging Youth with Early Psychosis Utilizing Internet and Social Media Platf

Coordinated Specialty Care (CSC) is a team-based, multi-element treatment for first episode psychosis (FEP) that integrates medical, psychosocial, and rehabilitative interventions in a recovery-oriented, collaborative approach to care. Read More


APRN independent practice bill (HB 177) had opposition testimony on Wed., May 14

Opponents of House Bill 177, a bill to give advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) independent practice authority will have the opportunity to testify before members of the Ohio House Health Committee Wednesday, May 14. Please contact your legislators and let them know how you feel about the bill. Let your voice be heard; we know APRNs are contacting legislators, we have share our concerns about patient safety and the team-based approach to care. Read More


HPIO releases 2019 Ohio Medicaid Basics

Medicaid pays for healthcare services for about three million Ohioans with low incomes, including more than 1.2 million children. Medicaid spending accounts for more than one-third of Ohio’s budget and almost 17% of health expenditures nationally. Read More


J-1 Visa Waiver Program - third application cycle open until June 30, 2019

The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) participates in the State 30 Program to increase access to health care services for Ohio’s underserved populations. J-1 visa waivers allow foreign medical graduates to remain in the United States after completing residency/fellowship training in exchange for a three-year commitment to provide health care services in underserved areas. Read More


New Medication-Assisted Treatment Rules effective April 30

The State Medical Board of Ohio has rescinded current office-based opioid treatment rules and has issued new medication-assisted treatment rules which will be effective on Tuesday, April 30:


APA to sponsor Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Train the Trainer (TTT) Program

The Buprenorphine and MAT TTT Program, hosted in partnership by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and Providers Clinical Support System (PCSS), is a two-day program hosted in Washington, DC that offers an in-depth training to DEA-X waivered psychiatrists who are currently prescribing buprenorphine to patients and are interested in serving as a regional buprenorphine trainer.


Ohio Health's new residency training program

OhioHealth’s commitment to address the Behavioral Health needs of our communities included the development of an ACGME Psychiatry Residency Program. We are excited to report that on March 15th, 2019 the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) announced match results


OPPA sends letter of support on House Bill 61

Earlier this week, OPPA President, William J. Resch, DO, sent a letter of support to the Chair and members of the House Civil Justice Commitee expressing OPPA's support of House Bill 61, which would exempt certain health provider personal information from public records. Read More


Governor DeWine releases 2020-2021 Executive Budget

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)— Ohio Governor Mike DeWine today unveiled his proposed executive budget for fiscal years 2020-2021, which is structurally balanced and does not include an increase in taxes. Read More


RecoveryOhio Advisory Council's initial report

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine released the RecoveryOhio Advisory Council’s Initial Report that makes recommendations on how to improve prevention, treatment, and recovery support efforts that address the state’s public health crisis – mental health and substance use. Read More


Plans for additional 30 specialty courts to help state's substance use emergency

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine today announced funding for an additional 30 specialty courts would be included in his budget recommendation for the upcoming 2020-2021 budget biennium. Read More


Ohio Senate considers co-pays, premiums for Medicaid Expansion group

A new bill in the Ohio Senate would require enrollees in Medicaid expansion to pay premiums and make co-payments on some medical services (Source: “Ohio Medicaid Expansion Patients would Face Co-Pays, Premiums Under New Bill,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 28, 2019). Read More


Gov. DeWine announced Amy Acton, M.D., M.P.H., is his nominee to lead the Ohio Department of Health

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine today announced Amy Acton, M.D., M.P.H., is his nominee to lead the Ohio Department of Health. Dr. Acton brings more than 30 years of experience in public health and preventative medicine. A licensed physician, Acton most recently served as a Community Research and Grants Management Officer at the Columbus Foundation. Read More


14th All Ohio Institute on Community Psychiatry

March 15-16, 2019

The theme for this year's meeting is Collaboration, Cooperation, Continuity: Focus on Clinical Care, offers plenary sessions as well as breakout workshops geared to meet the educational needs of community psychiatrists. The meeting will be held at the Crown Plaza Columbus North Worthington. For more information and to register, visit the website at


APA FREE course of the month - March 2019

TMS Therapy for the Treatment of Depression

A decade after the Food and Drug Administration cleared the treatment, many psychiatrists are unfamiliar with the literature about Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) and are not aware of its value and benefit to patients suffering with depression. Read More


2019 Buprenorphine and Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Train the Trainer (TTT) Program

June 9-10, APA Headquarters, Washington, DC

The American Psychiatric Association (APA), in partnership with the Providers Clinical Support System (PCSS), is proud to announce the 2019 Buprenorphine and Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Train the Trainer (TTT) Program. Read More


New process for SMBO continuing medical education audits

The State Medical Board of Ohio (SMBO) is conducting a pilot program through CE Broker to audit the continuing medical education (CME) credits of licensees. Physicians who have been selected for the random CME audit are beginning to receive email notification about the new process from the SMBO. Read More


The promise of speech recognition and computational linguistics in psychiatry

Recent studies demonstrate that it is possible to extract a significant amount of information from voice recordings of patients engaged in naturalistic or minimally structured speech tasks. Read More


Ohio's newest APA Distinguished Fellows

The APA recently announced the latest group of OPPA members to have been approved for advancement to Distinguished Fellow status. Distinguished Fellow is the highest membership honor the APA bestows upon members. Congratulations Drs. Osinowo and Dr. Varkula. Read More


In case you missed it: Next steps in BHR assistance for BH Providers

The Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) and Ohio Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) are evaluating the early effects of Behavioral Health Redesign and managed care integration on the comprehensive behavioral health system. At this time, they are focusing immediate efforts on addressing payment and policy challenges and look to design solutions aimed at best serving Ohioans with mental illness and addiction treatment needs. Read More


OPPA member appointed to serve on RecoveryOhio advisory council

OPPA member, Julie Teeter, MD, has been appointed to serve on Governor DeWine's new RecoveryOhio advisory council. The group has already been meeting one to two times a week for several hours to discuss Ohio's opioid epidemic in order to make recommendations for improvement in a report due to the Governor of March 8, 2019. Read More


Too Ill to Execute

A new documentary, To Ill to Execute, details the urgency of a movement to exclude those with severe mental illness from the death penalty in states across the U.S. Ohio's former Ohio Supreme Court Justice Evelyn Stratton and OPPA member, Megan Testa, MD, share their expertise in the film. Read More


The Promise of Speech Recognition and Computational Linguistics in Psychiatry

There have been recent results demonstrating that it is possible to extract a significant amount of information from voice recordings of patients engaged in naturalistic or minimally structured speech tasks. The studies include differential diagnosis of psychosis, prediction of psychosis onset, detection of psychoactive drug intake and progression of neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s and MCI/Alzheimer’s.


Medical marijuana patient registry triples in second month

New patient registry information released on February 7 by state officials shows more than 10,000 people have been recommended medical marijuana for pain that is chronic and severe or cannot be treated with other medicines.


Leading Ohio organizations launch new effort to address opioid and substance misuse epidemic

On Feb. 6, an alliance of local, state, and national organizations came together to launch the Rx Abuse Leadership Initiative (RALI) of Ohio. RALI Ohio will address the challenges and needs of the state’s opioid and substance misuse epidemic through a diverse partnership that includes health care, business, veterans, farmers, community, and drug prevention organizations. RALI Ohio will support effective prevention, education, treatment, and recovery programs. By partnering with a broad range of leading groups, RALI Ohio aims to reach people in every part of the state.


Teen dating violence awareness resources

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. Teen DV Month (sometimes called TDVAM) is a national effort to raise awareness about abuse in teen and 20-something relationships and promote programs that prevent it. The Violence Free Coalition has created a digital toolkit with social media graphics to help raise awareness.


Opioid overdose deaths now more likely than traffic deaths

A new national study has found that Americans are now more likely to die of an accidental opioid overdose than in a motor vehicle crash. Americans now have a 1 in 96 chance of dying of an opioid overdose compared to a 1 in 103 chance of dying in a motor vehicle crash. Opioid overdoses are now the fifth leading cause of death, according to the United States. Ahead of it are heart disease (1 in 6 chance), cancer (1 in 7), chronic lower respiratory disease (1 in 27) and suicide (1 in 88). Read More


OPPA applauds SMBO decision on rule 4731-16-16

The State Medical Board of Ohio has rescinded rule 4731-16-16, which prohibits a licensee from receiving a controlled substance for the treatment of an opioid dependence. The current prohibition has the potential to dissuade physicians who have an opioid use disorder from receiving proper treatment for their condition as some medications used in Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) are controlled substances due to their potential for misuse.


APA FREE course of the month - Feb. 2019

Psychiatrists and the Treatment of Pain

Concerns about undertreatment of pain have led to rapid growth in the rates of prescription opioids and a dramatic increase in the prevalence of prescription opioid use disorders, which themselves pose risks of premature mortality. Psychiatrists often see patients with pain, yet most psychiatrists feel uncertain about their role in the treatment of pain. Read More


ODH second 2019 State 30 J-1 Visa Waiver Program Cycle - now open

The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) participates in the State 30 Program to increase access to health care services for Ohio’s underserved populations. J-1 visa waivers allow foreign medical graduates to remain in the United States after completing residency/fellowship training in exchange for a three-year commitment to provide health care services in underserved areas. The second application cycle for 2019 will be open until the end of March. Read More


Seeking items for silent auction on Sat., Mar. 30, 2019

Please consider securing or donating one or more items

The Ohio Psychiatric Physicians Foundation is seeking donations for its Silent Auction to raise funds in support of its mission to improve the health and well-being of Ohioans by fostering psychiatric education and research. OPPA members can help make the silent auction a success by securing a donation from a local business, social event, sporting event, etc. Read More


Wellness Wednesdays are back - and they are FREE

The Ohio Academy of Family Physicians' Joy of Medicine Workgroup is proud to offer members (and nonmember physicians of other specialties) another year of valuable wellness topics as part of its “Wellness Wednesdays” series. And, they are available for FREE as a member benefit (and a benefit to OPPA members)! Read More


State considers adding six conditions to medical marijuana list

As Ohio prepares for its first legal sale of medical marijuana in the coming weeks, a state committee has identified six additional conditions that could be added to the list eligible for medical marijuana. Ohio law set 21 qualifying conditions for patients to get medical marijuana, but opens an annual window for suggestions to add to the list. Read More


Governor Mike DeWine hits the ground running

Yesterday marked the start of Governor Mike DeWine’s administration, and he hit the ground running with six new executive orders signed immediately after he took the oath of office at his farm in Cedarville, Ohio. Read More


Standard Authorization Form now available on ODM website

There is now a Standard Authorization Form (Form Number: ODM 10221) available, designed to improve patient care across multiple providers by making it easier to share protected health information in a secure manner. The form is applicable to all covered entities in Ohio. Read More


Ohio coalition is addressing physician burnout

The Ohio Physician Wellness Coalition (OPWC), of which the OPPA is an active member, was established last year to address physician burnout. This week, the Coalition—which represents physicians and hospitals statewide—launched a website with a large collection of resources and tools to tackle this often hidden, but very real, problem. Read More


More people are getting treatment for mental health and substance use disorder

It's been ten years since the mental health parity act was passed

A new study from independent nonprofit FAIR Health analyzed individual procedures or services covered by private insurance companies from 2007 to 2017. In that decade, use of services for behavioral health, which includes substance abuse and mental-health conditions, went up 320 percent. Treatment related to use and dependence on amphetamines climbed more than 3,000 percent, while use of treatment for anxiety diagnoses spiked more than 240 percent. Read More


Cabinet appointments announced

Governor Mike DeWine has announced a number of cabinet officials who will serve in his administration and lead efforts related to community mental health and addiction services, including Lori Criss to serve as the Director of the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. It is anticipated that Mark Hurst, MD, will stay on in a clinical capacity. Read More


Governor signs into law Ohio's Step Therapy legislation

On January 4, Ohio joined 18 other states that have passed step therapy reforms. Governor Kasich signed into law Substitute Senate Bill 265, legislation that puts safe guards around the protocols utilized by insurance companies to step therapy as a cost-containment strategy. The OPPA has strongly supported, and made it a priority to enactment step therapy reform during the last two legislative sessions. Read More


Legislators back at work for the 133rd General Assembly

Members of the Ohio House of Representatives and Ohio Senate officially convened on Mon., Jan. 7 to open the 133rd, two-year session of the Ohio General Assembly. In an unprecedented vote, it was also the day that ended the months-long battle between Speaker of the House Ryan Smith and former Speaker of the House Larry Householder, with Householder being elected for the new session. Read More


Save the Date – APA’s 2019 Federal Advocacy Conference

March 11-12, 2019

Join your colleagues and APA leadership and staff for the APA’s 2019 Federal Advocacy Conference in Washington, D.C.! This unique opportunity to lobby members of Congress on issues that affect psychiatry and our patients will take place March 11th through the 12th at the Washington Marriott Georgetown. Read More


ODM releases 2018 Managed Care Plans Report Card

The Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) recently released its 2018 Managed Care Plans Report Card, breaking down the performance of Ohio's five managed care providers across a variety of performance factors. The report card scored Buckeye Health Plan, CareSource, Molina Healthcare, Paramount Advantage and United Healthcare Community Plan. Each received one out of five stars, five constituting highest performance, in five categories: Getting Care, Doctors' Communication and Service, Keeping Kids Healthy, Living with Illness and Women's Health. Read More


APA free course of the month - Jan. 2019

Levels of Care in Adolescents with Substance Use Disorders

The transition from childhood to adolescence and subsequently adulthood are unique developmental periods with significant changes in social networks and interactions. Adolescence and early adulthood are the peak times for initiation of substance use disorders, particularly tobacco, marijuana, prescription drugs, and alcohol. Learn the considerations for determining the level of care and the use of behavioral approaches for treatment. Read More


CPT coding/documentation/billing for psychiatry workshop - June 20, Columbus

The OPPA will be hosting a day-long coding workshop in Columbus, designed for psychiatrists and their new or experienced billing and coding staff and all other mental health professionals who want to stay current with new information, rules and policies that impact billing for mental health services. Read More


Mental Health America releases annual State of Mental Health Report


Step therapy reform companion bills passed out of committees this week


HB 81 (death penalty exemption for SMI) passes out of committee


Mental health facts for gay populations


APA course of the month - Dec. 2018

Functional Neurological Symptom Disorders


Wellness Wednesday - Dec. 12, 2018 at 12:15 p.m. EST

Re-framing Perspective: Harnessing the Power of Giving Others the Benefit of the Doubt


Movement toward Medicaid unified PDL begins on Jan. 1


AI’s potential to diagnose and treat mental illness

A recent report in the Harvard Business Review details how tech companies and universities are developing new tools rooted in artificial intelligence (AI) to help meet a growing demand for mental health diagnostic and treatment services. Read More


APA honors psychiatrists who served in Vietnam

APA held a wreath-laying ceremony at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to honor the only psychiatrist known to have died during the Vietnam War as well as other psychiatrists who served in Vietnam. Among those attending the ceremony was OPPA Executive Director, Janet Shaw, who chairs the District Branch/State Association Executive Directors Group. Read More


Ohio Medicaid moving toward managed care unified PDL

The Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM), in partnership with the Medicaid managed care plans (MCPs), is moving toward creating a unified preferred drug list (PDL). ODM will begin a phased-in approach beginning on Jan. 1, 2019. Read More


Health journal evaluates Ohio parity efforts for anniversary of mental health, addiction law

Ohio's mental health and substance use disorder treatment systems were among those of a few states evaluated recently by the journal Health Affairs in recognition of October as the 10th anniversary of the federal mental health parity law. The publication undertook the evaluation in response to the Parity at 10 Campaign, which seeks greater compliance by insurers and state Medicaid programs with the federal Mental Health Parity and Addiction Treatment Act of 2008. Read More


Coalition seeks feedback on administrative and billing requirements for behavioral health

The Behavioral Health Provider Coalition for Insurance Advocacy is seeking feedback from psychiatrists and other behavioral health providers related to administrative and billing requirements of third-party payers in Ohio. Please take a few min. (less than 10) to share your experience. Read More


State leaders looking to move quickly after Issue 1 rejected

After voters statewide rejected Issue 1 last week, state lawmakers are ready to move forward on criminal justice reforms, legislative leaders said Thursday (Source: “After Issue 1 fails, state leaders vow to take up criminal justice reform,” Springfield News Sun, Nov. 8, 2018). Read More


Research Watch - October 2018 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


Concerns with CMHC trade association support of HB 326, psychologists prescribing

On March 23, a statewide trade and advocacy association, whose members include Community Mental Health Centers (CMHCs), sent a letter to members of the Ohio House Health Committee expressing support of Ohio House Bill 326, which would permit psychologists to prescribe. Please help educate administrators about safety concerns. Read More

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