Broad View: April 2014

Michael_RBy: Michael Ranney, MPA, OPA Executive Director

I am just back (and still recovering) from APA’s State Leadership Conference (SLC) in Washington, D.C. There is a lot to process from SLC, which is always jam packed with information, ideas from other state associations, and new contacts. There were many highlights but a few were:

  • Participating on an APAGS panel on student engagement. Ohio (OPAGS) is a model that others want to hear about.
  • My presentation on building legislative relationships was another highlight, I suppose. I got really great feedback on it and got some good tips from others who presented on the same general topic. I talked about our Legislative Day (the 2014 Legislative Day is May 21, watch for details) and the involvement of Ohio psychology students in advocacy.
  • Having dinner with Jim Brush. Many of you know Jim, a past President from the Cincinnati area who now is living in DC and working for the State Department. He and his son, Colin-who works for the Washington Opera, cooked an amazing dinner for the Ohio delegation under the watchful eye of the opera’s Italian language teacher. Jim sends his greetings to all his Ohio colleagues. He will be back in Ohio for the Human Trafficking workshop in Columbus on June 27.
  • Being on the dais next to APA CEO Dr. Norman Anderson for the Monday night banquet honoring Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown. I think I convinced Dr. Anderson to get on Twitter.
  • OPA’s Kathy Ashton was elected to the Committee of State Leaders!

Your Ohio delegates visited all but one of the congressional offices and both of our Senator’s offices to talk about halting the plummeting psychologist payments in Medicare (pass the SGR bill and fix the payment formula), adding psychologists to the physician definition in Medicare (Senator Brown’s Bill S1064) and providing psychologists electronic health record incentives (Senator Portman’s Bill S1517). It is not an accident that Ohio Senators and members of Congress are so prominently involved in this key legislation. Be sure to thank Senators Brown and Portman.

Once I got through the 700+ emails that came in while I was gone, I took time to sort through all the information I gathered at SLC on alternative practice models, law suits, information on association planning and governance models, the use of technology and rural health issues. The emails included information about several insurance issues that Bobbie Celeste and I are now working on with Anthem, Humana and Medicare. Some of these issues will likely result in complaints to the Ohio Department of Insurance.

We are also working to be sure that insurance companies understand the change to the psychology law that authorizes the Board of Psychology to certify providers of Applied Behavior Analysis services. Coverage of ABA is now mandated for state plans and insurance through the exchange. The regulation of ABA was a hot topic at SLC.

Past-President Jim Broyles and I are involved in a multi-pronged effort to develop and implement marketing strategies to promote psychology in Ohio. We’ve had some productive meetings from which great ideas have emerged. We are also working with students at Kent State to fine tune our strategies.

Another area of focus right now are the preparations for the April 5 Board meeting. This will be a full agenda, including a significant discussion of possible governance structure changes. You’ll be hearing more about this. We will also be discussing creating more income streams for OPA to make membership more affordable. This is one of the goals in our Strategic Plan.

We’ll be starting our budget process in the next two weeks. Staff develops the initial budgets for the next two years and we go through many drafts based on Finance Committee, Executive Committee and Board comments and questions. The Board approves the budget in June.

Looking at the calendar we are very aware that we’ve moving toward the end of this fiscal year and the MCE biennium. I hope you all are finished with our CE requirements and have submitted your certificates.

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