During his coronavirus briefing on Tuesday, Aug., 4, Governor Mike DeWine announced that Amy Acton, MD, MPH will be leaving her role, as chief health advisor, in his administration. Acton previously resigned from her position as director of the Ohio Department of Health in June.
August 19, 8-9 p.m. Eastern Time
Across the country, communities and families are challenged by the prospect of sending children back to school. These unprecedented times have impacted us all. During this virtual town hall , psychiatric experts will participate in a candid discussion about what to consider when choosing to return to the classroom, how to keep both students and staff safe and mentally healthy, how to notice changes in behavior that might indicate a need for support, and how communities can address barriers preventing youth from receiving mental health care.
Thursday, August 6, 2020 at 7 p.m., Eastern - Register Now
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in adults is the persistence of ADHD since childhood. Seven prospective longitudinal studies have demonstrated its persistence in approximately 60% of children. Three decades of international scientific research and recognition by the World Health Organization make evident the validity of this disorder around the world. Unfortunately, most training programs provide little, if any, education for diagnosis and treatment of ADHD in adults.
The Ohio Council of Behavioral Health and Family Services Providers (The Ohio Council) recently conducted a membership survey to gain insight into the impact that COVID-19 is having on Ohio’s mental health and addiction treatment providers and system.
In continued response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and following Governor DeWine’s recent executive order, the Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) adopted new emergency rule 5160-1-18, Telehealth, effective now through Saturday, November 14. This rule combines the previous emergency telehealth rules and extends additional flexibilities.
In accordance with Ohio Revised Code, the Ohio Department of Insurance (ODI) and the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) are required to issue a joint report annually on the departments’ efforts, which shall include information on consumer and payer outreach activities and identification of trends and barriers to access and coverage in this state. The departments are required to submit the report to the General Assembly, the joint Medicaid oversight committee, and the governor annually.
The Physician Support Line (PSL) was created in March 2020 to provide free, confidential peer-to-peer support for MD’s/DO’s navigating the Covid19 pandemic. It has now expanded to include support on any subject that is relevant to the many professional and personal intersections of our shared medical profession. Physicians supporting physicians. The Line is staffed by over 700 volunteer psychiatrists from across the country and has recently been added to the American Psychiatric Associations' Covid19 recommended mental health resources.
The Federal Communications Commission adopted rules to establish 988 as the new, nationwide, 3-digit phone number for Americans in crisis to connect with suicide prevention and mental health crisis counselors. The rules require all phone service providers to direct all 988 calls to the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by July 16, 2022. During the transition to 988, Americans who need help should continue to contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by calling 1-800-273-8255 (1-800-273-TALK) and through online chats. Veterans and Service members may reach the Veterans Crisis Line by pressing 1 after dialing, chatting online at chatting online at www.veteranscrisisline.net, or texting 838255.
As published in the New York Times, according to the Centers for Disease Control, drug deaths in America, which fell for the first time in 25 years in 2018, rose to record numbers in 2019 and are continuing to climb, a resurgence that is being complicated and perhaps worsened by the coronavirus pandemic.
OMHAS issues position paper on the future of telehealth for mental illness and substance use disorders
The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services has issued a white paper "KEY ISSUES: The Future of Behavioral Telehealth in Ohio." The purpose of this white paper summarize changes that were made to state and federal rules and policies related to the delivery of behavioral health services via telehealth that were implemented on an emergency, temporary basis; describe the future desired state of telehealth for behavioral health services; identify barriers to implementation at both the state and federal levels; and offer recommendations for consideration to achieve the desired future state of telehealth.
Extended for 120 days
In accordance with Governor DeWine’s Executive Order 2020-29D, the Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) and the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) are implementing emergency changes to Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) related to telehealth services. While the goal is to continue to maintain service access and capacity, providers should review the rules to assure that services provided continue to be consistent with telehealth policies and requirements.
Practical Psychiatry: Pragmatic Approaches & Clinical Pearls - A series of webinars originally planned as live presentations. Although the March event had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, the OPPA is pleased to bring you these excellent presentations as on-demand 60-minute web-based learning modules, to be held weekly between July 30 and Sept. 24. Sign up for the series (best value) or individual webinars!
Original webinar took place on July 8, 2020
APA's recent webinar on telehealth is now available as an on-demand module. Many psychiatrists have quickly transitioned to using telehealth and found it beneficial for certain patients. As states lift stay-at-home orders, and data shows COVID-19 continue to spread in some areas, the use of telehealth remains an important tool for patients to access mental health and substance use disorder treatment while keeping patients, clinicians, families, and communities safe through physical distancing.
The State Medical Board of Ohio met on July 8 to discuss the petitions requesting to add three qualifying conditions to the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program (OMMCP). After a discussion, the full board voted to accept the petition and add cachexia as a qualifying condition, effective immediately. The board also voted to reject petitions for autism spectrum disorder and anxiety disorder.
Speaker: Christine Moutier, MD on July 22, 2020, 7-8 p.m. Eastern
Don't miss the next free webinar being offered by the Ohio State Medical Association for its Summer Series: Physician Well Being. This Virtual Gathering, to be held on July 22 from 7-8 p.m., eastern, will focus on Physician Mental Health - Building Resilience & Preventing Suicide, guest speaker Christine Moutier, MD, Chief Medical Officer, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) and the American Psychiatric Association (APA) recognize that education, including school attendance, is an essential component of successful and healthy development for all children and adolescents. Access to universal, high-quality education is always the goal, but is especially true in the COVID-19 era, when many have had their education compromised and experience higher levels of stress from social isolation.
The State of Ohio Pharmacy Board on a number of new and amended rules pursuant to the requirements of Executive Order 2011-01K and Senate Bill 2 of the 129th General Assembly, which requires state agencies, including the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy, to draft rules in collaboration with stakeholders, assess and justify an adverse impact on the business community (as defined by SB 2), and provide an opportunity for the affected public to provide input on the following rules.
APA recently released the results of our telehealth member survey and is holding a webinar on Wednesday, July 8 at 7:00-8:30 pm (ET) focused on Advancing the Use of Telehealth Through Education and Advocacy. Find attached a flyer to share with your members and below the link for you to register for the webinar.
OPPA launches MaskPlus6 campaign encouraging Ohioans to wear a mask and practice social distancing of at least six feet
As Ohio continues with daily life during a pandemic, and as the number of cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) continue to rise, the Ohio Psychiatric Physicians Association (OPPA) and other physician and health care organizations strongly urge everyone to practice MaskPlus6. There is a 17 percent reduction in risk of infection for those wearing a mask or face covering versus those not covering their face.
In accordance with Governor DeWine’s Executive Order 2020-23D, the Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) and the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) are implementing emergency changes to Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) that impact fee-for-service prior authorization, telehealth-related emergency rule changes and procedure codes.
Please respond by Friday, July 10th
APA’s Presidential Task Force to Address Structural Racism Throughout Psychiatry recently met for the first time and has launched a quick, initial survey to gauge impressions of the effects of structural racism on patients which will inform their work moving forward. We are asking APA district branches to please share the survey with their mental health networks for response by Friday, July 10th.
July was designated as Minority Mental Health Awareness Month in 2008 to bring awareness to the unique struggles that underrepresented groups face in regard to mental illness in the U.S. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) reports that racial and ethnic minority groups in the U.S. are less likely to have access to mental health services, less likely to use community mental health services, more likely to use emergency departments, and more likely to receive lower quality care.
According to a recent article in the Washington Post, race and income are potent forces in determining who among the nation's vulnerable, older population has been infected with COVID-19, according to a federal analysis that lays bare stark disparities in the pandemic's toll. The findings from the Federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are based on billing records for people on Medicare who have contracted the virus.
Mental Health America, in partnership with the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, will host a Top Tips to Decrease Coronavirus Anxiety & Improve Emotional Well Being webinar on June 30 at 2 p.m. In this webinar, Dr. Debra Kissen, CEO of Light on Anxiety CBT Treatment Centers, will provide participants with empirically supported tips and tools, based on principles of Mindfulness Enhanced CBT, to live more fully in the moment.
COVID-19 Mental Health Resource Hub, a free resource to help people address mental health needs during COVID-19.
A free resource to help people address mental health needs during COVID-19
The National Alliance of Mental Illness of Ohio, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Ohio and its Foundation are working together to spotlight these mental health challenges and connect Ohioans to help. One focus of this partnership is NAMI’s “You Are Not Alone” campaign, a national effort to help individuals, organizations and local governments collect and share stories and messages about how inequality, COVID-19, financial insecurity and other stressors impact on our mental health. More information is available at www.NAMI.org/MentalHealthMonth.
Governor Mike DeWine announced that the Ohio Department of Health will continue funding for the valuable 2-1-1 service as Ohio enters into the next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. 2-1-1 is a phone service that connects thousands of Ohioans to local non-profit and government services for healthcare, food and meals, housing, transportation, mental health, and legal services.
The OPPA has a new domain name of oppa.org (instead of ohiopsychiatry.org) - much more succinct and user friendly. Both domain names will be in use for several months. So, when you want to contact us by email, you can simply send it to: firstname.lastname@example.org). ALSO, we have been working on a new website! We hope to make all the remaining changes this weekend, so the website (or some areas) may not be available. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
In partnership with the Ohio Physician Wellness Coalition and The Physician Foundation, the Ohio State Medical Association (OSMA) is offering a free webinar series this summer to all physicians in Ohio.
The OPPA is excited to anouonce that speakers who had planned to give their talks live at the OPPA Annual Psychiatric Update, "Practical Psychiatry: Pragmatic Approaches & Clinical Pearls", scheduled in March 2020, have agreed to record their presentations as on-demand webinars. While it was necessary to cancel the annual in-person educational event due to the coronavirus pandemic, the OPPA still wants OPPA members and others to learn from the excellent selection of topics and speakers. Look for more information coming soon!
OPPA members, Nita Bhatt, MD and Alan Levy, MD, representing psychiatry, participated in a virtual meet in greet, "Conversations with Congressman Balderson and Ohio Physicians" on June 16. The event was requested by Congressman Balderson to learn more about issues of importance to physicians in Ohio and to build relationships. Read More
A third of Americans are showing signs of clinical anxiety or depression, Census Bureau data shows, the most definitive and alarming sign yet of the psychological toll exacted by the coronavirus pandemic.The findings suggest a huge jump from before the pandemic. For example, on one question about depressed mood, the percentage reporting such symptoms was double that found in a 2014 national survey. Read More
The Ohio COVID-19 Minority Health Strike Force met on May 21 and released its interim report that focused on short-term recommendations that could have an immediate impact on the state's COVID-19 response. The report focuses on four key areas: data, healthcare, education and outreach, and resources. Community stakeholders were invited to present their thoughts for consideration in the final report on June 16. OPPA expresses its support and assistance. Read More
Contact your lawmaker today
Congress may consider H.R. 884 the Medicare Mental Health Access Act - legislation that would change Medicare's definition of "physician" to include psychologists. We need you to tell your U.S. Representative that psychologists are NOT physicians! Read More
The Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health Authorities has developed a brief on Developing a Better Understanding - Recovery During a Pandemic, which offers words of hope and suggestions for maintaining recovery during this difficult time.
OPPA past president, Bill Resch, DO provided testimony on behalf of OPPA this week to members of the House Health Committee on HB 443, which would bring Ohio's mental health parity laws in compliance with the Federal Parity Law, the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008. MHPAEA states that health insurers must cover mental health illnesses and substance use disorder no more restrictively than physical illnesses of the body. Read More
House Bill 679 introduced just two weeks ago passed the House this week and is now headed to the Senate for consideration. This bill would modify several requirements related to telehealth services making telehealth more accessible by both physicians and patients. Read More
For several legislative sessions, OPPA has worked tirelessly to pass legislation that would end the execution of individuals with certain serious mental illnesses (at the time of the crime). House Bill 136 was passed by the full House and moved on to the Senate Judiciary Committee several months ago. Following several hearings, the committee overwhelmingly agreed that the individuals with certain serious mental illnesses at the time of their crime have reduced culpability and therefore should not be executed. To cross the finish line, the bill must be passed by the full Senate. Read More
As an organization of physicians united by our commitment to serving society through the practice of psychiatry, the Ohio Psychiatric Physicians Association (OPPA) recognizes racism as a public health crisis and a changeable contributor to the health disparities that exist in our society. The OPPA condemns racism in all forms. Read More
Ohio is celebrating an important Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) milestone. Last week, 49 Ohio law enforcement personnel were recognized for 20 years of service as Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) officers. Retired Akron Police Department Lt. Michael S. Woody and Mark Munetz, MD, Northeast Ohio Medical University professor and chair emeritus of psychiatry, were the lead proponents of bringing CIT to Ohio in 2000. Today, all 88 Ohio counties have trained CIT officers. In addition, more than 16,000 professionals have been trained throughout Ohio, of which nearly 12,000 are sworn law enforcement officers. Read More
With social distancing recommendations in place as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many mental health clinicians are turning to telehealth to meet with patients. However, while connecting virtually is better than not connecting at all, delivering essential mental health care this way poses specific challenges and risks, especially regarding clients at risk for suicide. Read More
OPPA members, Steve Jewell, MD and Mackenzie Varkula, MD share with former Columbus Dispatch writer, Alan Johnson, their thoughts on how the use of telehealth/telepsychiatry may be the silver lining of the coronavirus-19 pandemic. Both the state and federal governments approved temporary waivers soon after the pandemic hit that allow care providers to be paid for telehealth appointments the same as in-person sessions. Regulations for prescribing medications were also temporarily relaxed. The key to continuing virtual mental health coverage is how the service is reimbursed long term. Read More
The Ohio Academy of Family Physicians (OAFP) hosted a meeting of the Ohio Coalition of Primary Care Physicians (of which the OPPA is a member) on Friday, May 8. In addition to the legislative and regulatory actions taken that impact the practice of medicine during the COVID-19 pandemic, the group discussed potential opportunities for advocating for regulatory changes that were made on an emergency basis to become permanent. Telemedicine reimbursement is a prime example. Read More
The Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) announced updated information on the Technical Assistance Opportunity to Resolve Outstanding Accounts Receivables. To date, 18 behavioral health providers have submitted accounts receivable (A/R) complaints. ODM is offering technical assistance to facilitate claims review between providers and MCOs for claims dating back as far as July 2018 to resolve outstanding claim denials. Read More
OPPA member and former Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) Director and Medical Director Mark Hurst, MD, has announced his retirement from state service, effective June 5. Dr. Hurst, who currently serves as medical director for the Ohio Department of Health, has been an integral part of Ohio’s public health system for decades. Read More
As the country continues to grapple with the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, we know that the economic, health and psychological effects will result in a surge of people needing treatment for mental health or substance use problems. Two new reports detail key insurance barriers that, with increased enforcement of the Parity Act, would significantly improve treatment access and coverage. Read More
Ohio’s Behavioral Health system has continued to provide services throughout the COVID-19 pandemic although many programs have restricted in-person sessions. In many communities accessing mental health and addiction services has looked different over the past several weeks. As Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Health Director, Amy Acton, M.D., begin lifting Stay at Home related orders, many businesses will be able to return to offering clinically appropriate services in a face to face setting. The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services has developed a guide to assist in reopening services at behavioral health facilities during the COVID pandemic. Read More
The Treatment Advocacy Center (TAC), in partnership with the American Psychiatric Association (APA), launched an eight-part series of online learning modules on assisted outpatient treatment (AOT). The modules are now available to the public through SMI Adviser, an open-access mental health resource library for providers and others seeking to help individuals with serious mental illness (SMI). Read More
The Ohio Department of Insurance has resources that can help people understand their mental health and substance use insurance benefits. They have a toolkit that explains behavioral health coverage in an understandable way. The department can also aid consumers who have issues or questions about coverage. Read their monthly newsletter, which addresses mental health and COVID-19. Read More
Since Battelle announced its new N95 sterilization program for hospitals that started at the end of March, the Ohio State Medical Association (OSMA) has been working closely with Battelle to expand the program to all physician practices in Ohio, regardless of size. Battelle can now offer its unique N95 Decontamination System at no charge to medical practices of all sizes. This program will be facilitated using FedEx as the shipping partner. Read More
Earlier this week, Ohio Republicans passed a bill that would limit the powers of the state's health director as a result of the executive orders put into place for to protect Ohioans (and health care workers) from the coronavirus pandemic. The legislation would allow orders from ODH Director, Amy Acton, MD, to last a maximum of 14 days, unless members of the legislature approve an extension. Read More
While 1 in 5 people will experience a mental illness during their lifetime, everyone faces challenges in life that can impact their mental health. In 2020, our theme of Tools 2 Thrive will provide practical tools that everyone can use to improve their mental health and increase resiliency regardless of the situations they are dealing with. We now believe that these tools – even those that may need to be adapted for the short term because of COVID-19 and social distancing – will be more useful than ever. Read More
Retroactive to March 1
Psychiatric News (5/1) reported that on April 30, “the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a new rule permitting audio-only telephone care for the following psychiatry codes retroactive to March 1: 90785, 90791, 90792, 90832, 90833, 90834, 90836, 90837, 90838, 90839, 90840, 90845, 90846, 90847, and 90853.” Read More
Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) is hosting two upcoming “Coping with COVID-19” webinars for medical and health professionals: COVID-19: The Pandemic of Loneliness for Medical and Wellness Professionals | May 13 -- Noon-1:30 p.m. COVID-19: Post Traumatic Growth for Medical and Wellness Professionals | May 27 – Noon-1:30 p.m. Read More
The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) is sponsoring a series of free trainings for physical and behavioral health professionals to understand ways to address bias, especially for people with Opioid Use Disorder (OUD). We all have implicit biases that affect our understanding, action and decisions in an unconscious manner. In addition, people may have explicit preferences and bias that influence decisions.
Crisis Text Line provides free support at your fingertips, 24/7. It is a free, confidential service available via text on mobile devices. It is intended to broaden the options available through current community crisis hotlines. Crisis Text Line’s goal is to move people from a hot moment to a cool calm. To reach a Crisis Counselors, text 4Hope to 741741. Read More
May is Mental Health Month. Taking care of your mental health is more important than ever, especially during these challenging times. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) offers free education and outreach materials to help raise awareness about mental health in communities. Click here for shareable social media graphics, messages, and videos. Read More
Over the past two months, COVID-19's impact on Ohio and across the nation has been catastrophic. OPPA is committed to serving its psychiatric physician members by actively tracking developments and updating information on its COVID-19 and Telehealth sections of the website. Read More
On April 27, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) launched the COVID-19 Uninsured Program Portal to allow physicians and other health care professionals who have conducted COVID-19 testing or provided treatment for uninsured COVID-19 individuals on or after February 4, 2020, to submit claims for reimbursement. Read More
The Health Policy Institute of Ohio (HPIO) has released the latest tool from its Addiction Evidence Project, an online evidence resource page on the impact of addiction on children, youth and families. The resource page includes expert guidance and evidence-informed programs to ease the impact of the addiction crisis on young people and their families, including resources that address the foster care system, kinship caregiving, and prenatal drug exposure. Read More
On April 27, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted, and Dr. Amy Acton, MD, MPH, made several major announcements regarding Ohio’s plan to responsibly restart Ohio’s economy during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Read More
The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) together with Governor Mike DeWine and Recovery Ohio have launched a new, toll-free Careline to provide emotional support for Ohioans who are experiencing stress, anxiety, fear, sadness and loneliness amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Read More
On April 13, the Ohio Department of Medicaid released additional policy guidance and detailed billing guidelines related to the emergency rule 5160-1-21, "Telehealth during a state of emergency." Read More
Governor DeWine announced that Medicaid, the managed care plans, and MyCare Ohio plans have come together to remove barriers for members receiving Medicaid benefits during the COVID-19 crisis, including easing prior authorization restrictions. Read More
The OPPA live webinar on "Ohio, Telehealth/Telepsychiatry and COVID-19: What Psychiatrists and Other Behavioral Health Clinicians Need to Know About has been updated with the newest changes to telehealth regulations by Medicare and other payers (if you participated in the live event, you have been emailed a link with the updated webinar). If you missed the webinar, it is now available on-demand. Read More
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread and reaches its peak at different times across the country Many hospitals and health care systems are calling on physicians, regardless of their specialty, to redeploy to areas beyond their specialty to meet the current medical needs of COVID-19 patients. Read More
Our society expects physicians, now more than ever, to have all the answers. To comfort. To heal. Physicians often rise to the challenge, however, physicians are only human. Physicians are susceptible to burn out, deep sadness, anxiety and vulnerability. There is help. Read More
On March 31, 2020, CMS announced additional changes to telehealth regulations. We will be updating our telehealth page and materials to reflect these updates. For those of you who participated in OPPA's Telepsychiatry Webinar on March 25, we are re-recording the webinar to reflect these changes. Read More
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced sweeping new changes to Medicare in response to the COVID-19 emergency, building on the agency’s March 17 actions – designed to further expand telehealth and virtual care for Medicare beneficiaries. Read More
You are on the front lines of this crisis. Keep us informed of what's happening in your local area - and in your practice setting. Let us know what you and your patients need. Let us know if you are now providing tele-psychiatry and how it's going. Let us know if recent changes implemented by Ohio Medicaid, health insurance company's the medical board and others is working for you. This feedback will enable us to identify areas of top priority that we can work on with ODH, OhioMHAS, insurance carriers and Ohio's administration and legislators when appropriate. Click on the more to comment and/or send an email to Read More
Ohio Legislature Responds to the COVID-19 Emergency The Ohio Psychiatric Physicians Association (OPPA) is committed to keeping Ohio psychiatrists informed on state and federal updates related to COVID-19, especially how they impact Ohio’s medical practices and healthcare professionals. This week the Ohio House and Senate passed a COVID-19 package to address legislative changes necessary to continue fighting this pandemic. Read More
In case you missed it, the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) has released a guidance document with answers to frequently asked questions for opiate treatment programs (OTPs). Read More
The Clozapine Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) is an FDA-mandated program implemented by the manufacturers of clozapine which includes a patient registry and requirements for prescribers, pharmacists, patients, and distributors. Until today, it has required patients to have their blood drawn and tested each time by their pharmacist before they receive Clozapine. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and recent medical evidence, the Clozapine REMS program will now allow pharmacists to use their discretion and not require blood draws to before providing Clozapine. Read More
What Psychiatrists and Other Behavioral Health Clinicians Need to Know
So much is changing minute-by-minute with the coronavirus (COVID-19). There has never been a greater need (and opportunity) for Ohio psychiatrists and other mental health clinicians to provide telepsychiatry/telehealth services. Medicare, Medicaid and many commercial insurance health plans are making changes to their processes and policies with respect to telepsychiatry/telehealth services making it possible to care for as many patients in Ohio in a safe and expedient manner. Read More
The Ohio Departments of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) and Medicaid (ODM), in partnership with the Governor’s Office, have executed emergency rules to expand and enhance telehealth options for Ohioans and their providers. These rules will relax regulations so that more people can be served safely in their homes rather than needing to travel to addiction and mental health treatment centers. Read More
With the cancellation of the OPPA Annual Psychiatric Update, the annual face-to-face business meeting was also cancelled. The virtual meeting will be held on Sat., April 4, beginning at 10 a.m., EDT, lasting no more than 30 min. On March 20, all voting members of OPPA will be sent an invitation to take part in the virtual business meeting. Read More
Telemedicine coverage by health insurers
The Ohio Department of Insurance (ODI) issued a bulletin on March 11, which addresses coverage of telemedicine in light of COVID-19. Insurers are encouraged to implement early adoption of the new law that goes into effect Jan.,1, 2021 which prohibits insurers from excluding coverage for a service that is otherwise covered under the health plan solely because it is delivered as a telemedicine service. Read More
The Ohio State Board of Pharmacy changes rule that expands the pharmacist’s authority to provide emergency refills to patients who have a prescription history with the drug they need refilled. Emergency refill for controlled substances for 30 days and non-controlled substances for 90 days. Read More
Telepsychiatry in the Era of COVID-19
This webinar will offer learners an overview of how to use telemental health and video visits in the changing landscape surrounding the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. Read More
Medicare patients seeking certain medical services—including mental health services—can now be seen using live videoconferencing in their homes. They do not need to travel to a qualifying “originating site” for Medicare telehealth encounters, regardless of geographic location, according to a guidance issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Read More
Medical Board will suspends enforcement of the continuing education requirements for the renewal of a license
Beginning immediately, the Medical Board will suspend enforcement of the continuing education requirements for the renewal of a license issued by the State Medical Board of Ohio. This includes, but is not limited to, the requirement for Ohio physicians to obtain 50 hours of Category 1 CME at the time of their license renewal. Read More
SMBO suspends enforcement of any regulations requiring in-person visits between providers and patients
Beginning immediately, the Medical Board will suspend enforcement of any regulations requiring in-person visits between providers and patients. This exercise of enforcement discretion includes, but is not limited to, enforcement of regulations related to providers prescribing to patients not seen in-person by the physician. Read More
The Psychiatric Aspects of COVID-19
OPPA Newsletter Editor, Henry Nasrallah, MD, shares his thoughts about the important role psychiatrists play in times like these, especially for patients who already suffer from anxiety disorders or depression. Read More
In the midst of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the safety and well-being of ourselves, our families, our patients, and our communities remain the utmost of priorities of the OPPA. To provide support and information to those who may need it, OPPA is collecting authortative and timely resources, which will be updated on an going basis.
In an effort to minimize the potential for the spread of the Coronavirus, the OPPA Council voted to cancel its annual meeting planned for March 14-15 in Columbus, OH. Read More
Highs and Lows: Clinical Pearls and Lessons Learned in the Outpatient Management of Geriatric Bipolar Disorder
This course reviews guidelines for the treatment of aging patients with bipolar disorder. It will cover several challenging and complicated cases of geriatric bipolar disorder treated in an interdisciplinary outpatient clinic. Read More
On Wed., Feb. 12, OPPA President-Elect, Megan Testa, MD, spoke in support of Senate Bill 254, the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act. This bill would align Ohio’s mental health parity laws with current federal law; raise awareness amongst individuals, families, and employers about their rights and responsibilities under the law; and facilitate greater implementation and enforcement to ensure that health plans are complying with parity laws. Read More
Practical Psychiatry: Pragmatic Approaches and Clinical Pearls
Registration is open and seats are filling quickly for OPPA's upcoming Annual Psychiatric Update, which will be held at the Marriott University Hotel on March 14-15. The OPPA brings together thought leaders from across the nation for this one and a half-day conference, focusing on various aspects of practice that psychiatrists routinely encounter which spans pharmacological, therapeutic, regulatory, media and administrative issues. Practical psychiatry increases knowledge, builds confidence, expands connectedness, decreases helplessness and supports resilience. Read More
The American Psychiatric Association (APA) expressed its concerns to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding the elimination of Medicare supervision and licensure requirements that are more stringent than other applicable federal or state laws, potentially resulting in the reduction of supervision requirements for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) and Physician Assistants (PAs). Read More
In case you missed it, the Ohio Department of Medicaid published a Unified Preferred Drug List (UPDL) that went live on January 1. The UPDL applies to the ENTIRE Medicaid population, Managed Care, and Fee for Service (FFS). Read More
On February 4, 2020, the Ohio Department of Medicaid released a second Request for Information (RFI) outlining its vision for a reimagined statewide managed care program. The RFI seeks input from providers, associations, advocacy groups, data and information technology vendors, and managed care organizations. Feedback requested by March 3, 2020. Read More
Mental Health America (MHA) released a new report focused on the American workforce and mental health, Creating a Healthy Workplace: Impact of Supervisor Support and Company Culture. The findings of this new report complement and expand upon a 2019 study that showed that supervisor communication and a company culture of safe and open communication are correlated with an employee’s motivation, confidence, and pride. Read More
Apply for the 2020 Medical Student Elective in HIV psychiatry. The elective will begin with an intensive, two-day training Aug. 27-28, 2020, at the APA headquarters in Washington, D.C. The training will cover neuropsychiatric complications of HIV, somatic complaints, mood disorders, treating co-occurring substance use disorders, and more.
Emerging Treatment Strategies for Mood and Anxiety Disorders
Check out a free APA member benefit by taking this on-demand CME course on emerging treatments and approaches for mood and anxiety disorders. Presented by Stefan Kloiber, M.D., University of Toronto, Yuliya Knyahnytska, M.D., Ph.D., University of Toronto, Nazanin Alavi, M.D., FRCPC, Queens University, Alpna Munshi, M.D., FRCPC, University of Toronto, and Ishrat Husain, MBBS, University of Toronto.
Last Chance to Register! Documentation and Coding Psychiatry and Behavioral Health Care 2020 - Jan. 28
Registration is now open for this day-long coding workshop in Columbus, presented by Diane Zucker, M.Ed., CCS-P, is 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
Recently, Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) Director Maureen Corcoran sent a report to Governor DeWine outlining a series of issues that ODM is currently working to address. The state's technology system that determines whether adults and children are eligible for Ohio Medicaid has nearly 1,100 defects, according to Director Corcoran.
Effective January 1, 2020
The Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) is implementing a Unified Preferred Drug List (UPDL) on January 1st, 2020 that will encompass the entire Medicaid population regardless of enrollment in Managed Care or Fee for Service (FFS). ODM pharmacy staff and leaders from the Managed Care Plans collaborated together in clinical, technical, and communications-based workgroups to help ensure a smooth transition.
Beginning on Feb. 1, 2020, OhioMHAS will refer people seeking mental health or substance use disorder treatment to a new treatment finder tool, FindTreatment.gov. an online treatment finder database created by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), which collected information on thousands of state-licensed providers who specialize in treating substance use disorders, addiction, and mental illness.
Every year, psychiatrists, residents and medical students across Ohio conduct research that significantly contributes to the science of psychiatric practice. The OPPF supports this research and recognizes authors for their contributions. We hope you take this opportunity to submit a paper yourself and/or to recognize the important work being done in your city or academic institution. Read More
Bipartisan companion bills have been introduced in the Ohio House and Senate to align Ohio's mental health parity laws with the current federal law, Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act. In addition, the legislation is intended to raise awareness among individuals, families, and employers about their rights and responsibilities under the law, as well as facilitate greater implementation and enforcement. Read More
Registration is now open for this day-long coding workshop in Columbus, presented by Diane Zucker, M.Ed., CCS-P, is 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
On Thursday the Federal Communications Commission unanimously voted to proceed with a proposal to set up a new hotline similar to 911 — only, instead of dialing the police, the number would connect callers to experts in suicide prevention and mental health. The proposed number, 988, would link callers to an already existing network of crisis centers around the country set up by the Department of Health and Human Services. Read More
SMI Adviser is a free resource for all mental health professionals who care for individuals with serious mental illness (SMI). Download the all-new SMI Adviser mobile app to access free education, submit questions and receive feedback from national experts, and find resources that help you implement evidence-based care. Read More
First-of-its-kind waiver blunts decades-old discriminatory Medicaid policy that spurred nationwide bed shortage crisis
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced that the District of Columbia has been granted a "first-of-its-kind" waiver of the IMD exclusion, a decades-old federal law that hinders states' ability to provide hospital care for mental illness. With their waiver approved, DC may now seek Medicaid reimbursement for care provided in certain mental health facilities defined as "institutions for mental disease. Read More
Today is #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving. GivingTuesday was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good. Over the past seven years, it has grown into a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate and celebrate generosity. Please make a tax-deductible contribution to the Ohio Psychiatric Physicians Foundation today. Read More
Representative Phil Plummer and Representative Allison Russo will soon be introducing the Ohio Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA). The aim of this legislation is to align state law with current federal law; raise awareness amongst individuals, families and employers about their rights and responsibilities under the law; and facilitate greater implementation and enforcement by the Ohio Department of Insurance. Read More
Across the United States, the cost of health insurance and deductibles for those with employer-sponsored plans is outpacing median income, according to a new report. According to the Commonwealth Fund report, premiums and deductibles in 2018 were 10% or more of the median income for workers in 42 states, including Ohio. A decade before, that was only true in seven states. The report analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau and a federal insurance questionnaire. Read More
Hospitals will soon have to share price information they have long kept obscured — including how big a discount they offer cash-paying patients and rates negotiated with insurers — under a rule finalized Friday by the Trump administration. The hospital rule is slated to go into effect in January 2021. Read More
The Health Policy Institute of Ohio has released the third in a series of inventories and scorecards analyzing Ohio's policy response to the addiction crisis and outlining areas where the state could be more effective. The new report, "Ohio Addiction Policy Inventory and Scorecard: Law Enforcement and the Criminal Justice System," provides policymakers and other stakeholders with the information needed to take stock of Ohio's policy response to addiction within the law enforcement and criminal justice sectors. Read More
People seeking treatment for mental illness and substance use disorders continue to pay more and face more barriers to accessing care than those seeking care for physical illness, according to a report released today from Milliman, Inc., and the disparity has worsened over the past two years. Read More
Advance registration required for this free event
The American Psychiatric Association is joining the American College of Emergency Physicians and Coalition on Psychiatric Emergencies to host a webinar on mitigating the problem of emergency department boarding of psychiatric patients based on APA's resource document on the issue. The webinar will be held Wednesday, December 11, from 3 p.m-4 p.m. EST. Read More
According to a recent report by the Ohio Department of Health, between 2007 and 2018, suicide deaths increased 45% among all age groups and by 56% among youths ages 10 to 24, according to state health officials. Over the past dozen years, 18,391 Ohioans have died by suicide. The most common method of suicide is firearms, followed by hanging and drug overdose, the report said. Read More
The Ohio Psychiatric Physicians Association, in partnership with the Ohio State Medical Association and the rest of the House of Medicine, requests input from medical practices across Ohio regarding prior authorization. The goal of this survey is to assess experiences with payers since the passage of Senate Bill 129, legislation aimed at improving and streamlining the prior authorization process. Read More
AMVETS Department of Ohio is committed to bring the number of veteran suicides down to zero by addressing the underlying issues that cause it. 1 Is Too Many will be working with at risk veterans who are dealing with issues like opioid/drug abuse, PTSD, other mental health conditions, financial issues, legal issues, convictions and more. For help, call the ‘1 Is Too Many’ crisis line for veterans at 1-800-OH-AMVET or 1-800-642-6838. Read More
The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) – the nation’s largest organization representing medical professionals who specialize in addiction prevention and treatment – has updated the society’s definition of addiction to explain more fully the complexity of this chronic disease. Read More
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. Read More
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
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
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
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 (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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
*NEW* OhioMHAS has launched a new “After a Disaster” web page (https://mha.ohio.gov/Families-Children-and-Adults/Family-Supports/After-a-Disaster) 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
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
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