Broad View: January 2014

Michael_RBy: Michael Ranney, MPA, OPA Executive Director

Turning the pages of the calendar and finding myself in a New Year already was quite a shock. 2013 went so fast. But 2014 has some exciting elements to look forward to.

OPA’s President, Dr. Kathy Ashton, has organized a Health Care Reform Task Force. I think this is definitely one of the big things to look forward to in this New Year. She has two great co-chairs in Drs. Gary Sipps and Patrick Palmieri. They are excited by the challenge of helping organize other volunteers to be sure that OPA is on top of developments impacting psychologists as health care reform moves forward. The task force becomes the focal point for coordinating the work of several OPA committees that touch on elements of the practice of psychology and insurance reform. We will be working on gathering and reporting information about health homes, integrated care, new models for reimbursement, Medicare, Medicaid, the use of technology and so much more. We will be working to identify workshop opportunities and presenters who can help us provide the training that OPA members need to continue to practice psychology effectively. We may develop additions to our Tool Kit that will be needed as reforms take place. It is certainly a challenging time and we are making every effort to be certain that OPA members are informed and well prepared for the changes that are coming.

Of course the direction of the work of this task force must be informed by our members. We’d welcome information about areas where you fear changes may hurt your practice. What most concerns you about health care reform? Send your thoughts, concerns, or helpful information you have that I can share with the task force. Are there educational programs you would like to see at our spring convention, as standalone workshops or webinars to address these concerns? I welcome your input, send me an email.

Bobbie Celeste, Heather Gilbert and I are continuing to develop information to send to all of you in the form of Insurance Notes. We plan to continue to send these out about every two weeks with information, resources, tips and breaking news. Give us some feedback if you find this helpful or not!

Staff is working on putting together a panel of insurance people to discuss reimbursement models and other important questions relating to insurance in 2014 as one of our April Convention programs. We know there are changes coming and that this is critical information for so many of our members.

Just as a reminder some of our upcoming educational programs include:
ICD Diagnosis: Changes on the Horizon-February 7, 2014 in Columbus. This is an important topic. Register now so you don’t miss out. This could sell out quickly.
Union of Psychology & Spirituality -February 28-March 1, 2014 at Mohican State Park Lodge
• OPA 2014 Spring Convention-April 24-25, 2014
• OPA Legislative Day-May 21, 2014 in Columbus
• APA Insurance Trust Risk Management Workshop on June 20, 2014 in Columbus

Of course this year we begin the transition to replacing the fall convention with a spring convention. This is a big move but a change that makes sense on so many levels.

Another thing we look forward to as the New Year begins is working with many stakeholders and the Board of Psychology to draft rules to implement the changes to the Psychology Law that became law when Governor Kasich signed HB83 on December 19. In many ways, getting rules drafted is much harder than getting the legislation passed. OPA will be part of this important process. Our State Psychology Board is to be complemented for the effort it makes to involve stakeholders in this process.

And if it is January, then we are in the midst of one of the unique things that the Foundation for Psychology does, managing an annual international scholarship program for graduate students involved in research in the area of diversity and inclusion. This is the Michael Sullivan Diversity Scholarship. The establishment of this fund was the result of donations made by psychologists from around country and from state and provincial psychological associations at the time of Michael Sullivan’s retirement from the American Psychological Association. State leaders established this fund to recognize Dr. Sullivan’s work as Assistant Executive Director for State Advocacy at APA. Dr. Sullivan wore many hats in this role, including managing CAPP’s grants programs to state, provincial and territorial psychological associations. He was instrumental in creating APA’s Diversity Initiative in conjunction with the State Leadership Program, which has been highly successful in getting more psychologists of color into leadership roles with state, provincial and territorial. Creating a Diversity Scholarship fund seemed a fitting way to recognize Dr. Sullivan, who was an inspiration to so many people. The first few years we gave one $500 scholarship. The past two years we gave two $500 scholarships. Our Diversity Committee helps to coordinate this project. Past winners include:

2013-Ms. Jin Kim (University of California-Davis) and Mr. David Lick (UCLA)
2012-Ms. Marisa Franco and Ms. Anahi Collado-Rodriguez (University of Maryland)
2011-Ms. Ana Fernandez (Long Island University-Brooklyn Campus)
2010-Ms Ariz Rojas (University of South Florida)
2009-Ms.Sangeeta Parikshak (University of Kansas)
2008-Ms. Janelle Hines (University of Cincinnati)

It is really exciting to see the applications come in. We get about 25 each year. Last year applications came from students at Suffolk University, Indiana State University, University of Florida, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Columbia University, University of Cincinnati, Indiana University, John Jay College, University of California-Davis, Ryerson, University, UCLA, University of Michigan, Pacific University, Baylor University, The Chicago School, Pepperdine University, University of Maryland and the University of California-Santa Barbara.

We do an initial review and pass on the top applications to Dr. Sullivan and another reviewer, who select the winners. We announce the winners at APA’s State Leadership Conference in March, at which Dr. Sullivan’s Diversity Initiative lives on with a combination of APA funded and state funded Diversity Delegates. Many OPA leaders have benefited from participation in this conference as Diversity Delegates.

This is just one of the interesting projects that the Foundation for Psychology in Ohio (PSYOHIO) is undertaking. We will be updating the foundation section of the website soon to include some testimonials from people who support PSYOHIO and some who have benefited from foundation. I’ve had a chance to see some of these and it is so rewarding to hear about the impact the foundation has had.

And 2014 is the second year of the biennium. Better get busy getting your 23-hour CE requirement. Time is running out and way too many psychologists haven’t turned in any hours yet.

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