By: Jim Broyles, PhD, OPA President
I have spent time recently following the general listserv discussion regarding recent changes in the medical billing and insurance industry which have affected so many of us, particularly those of us in private practice. It is quite helpful for me as president to follow such discussions. Doing so allows me to make sure I get a better understanding of the challenges and concerns of our members. For those of you who are less aware of the issues, or may not be part of the listserv, the main circumstance which created difficulties was the recent change in procedure codes by the American Medical Association. The AMA’s code definition is used by most insurance companies to understand and in turn compensate us for what we do as psychologists. After the most recent change in codes and definitions, many psychologists now feel they are unable to spend the time with clients, or get the right services authorized, which they feel are necessary.
Following the changes, during the ensuing listserv discussion, many of our members expressed considerable frustration, stating they feel that many of the rules and changes implemented by the insurance companies are not in the best interest of clients and arbitrarily or unfairly limit services which are indicated and appropriate. Others have stated they believe the companies limit general access to psychological services by limiting participation on insurance panels. Most importantly, many members expressed concerned that OPA is not doing everything it can to help psychologists with these issues, leaving them feeling powerless. This latter opinion provoked the most concern for me as leader of our association.
In an effort to ensure that the association is being responsive to these concerns, I would like to hear from individuals who feel we could be addressing these concerns, and advocating on behalf of Ohio psychologists in the face of these overwhelming circumstances. If you would like to give me feedback, please email me. Please use “feedback” as your subject line, and make sure you include your suggestion about what the association should be doing to address your concerns.