Advocacy Alert: September 2014

Bobbie_CSpeaking up for Psychology

By:  Bobbie Celeste, PhD, OPA Director of Professional Affairs
614-224-0034 (Most Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays)

Here’s an update on some of the places I have been speaking up for psychology…

Bureau of Workers Compensation
The BWC Taskforce and I have been speaking up for psychology for the last two administrations. Last week we submitted a proposal to BWC leaders to urge their introduction of a Strategic Early Intervention program for injured workers. If you are interested in participating in the training, October 17, contact me.

Patient Centered Primary Care Collaborative
I attend these meeting and speak up for the significant roles psychology plays in primary care. Primary care physicians want to collaborate with psychologists but often don’t know them. Learn more by clicking here. Are you interested in teaming with primary care practices? Contact me to talk more about this.

MyCare Managed Care
Aetna and Molina executives have met with consumer advocates at for patients who have been forced into managed care called MyCare. I spoke up for psychologists who are having difficulties securing information about how to treat their Medicare patients who have been put into MyCare. See the Medicaid website for more info. Contact me if you or your patients are having difficulties or contact the Ombudsman program for complaints and assistance.

OPA is speaking up to add psychologists to Medicare’s physician definition in order to be paid for services that are in our scope and paid for by private insurers. We urged Senator Brown to sponsor our bill and in Washington, D.C. OPA leaders and I met with the APA Practice government relations team to strategize how to move this legislation in Congress. Register your support. If you know of stories of Medicare patients who need more psychological care—please contact me.

Interns in Medicaid
Speaking up resulted in rule changes which allow interns to serve Medicaid patients while under general supervision of psychologists who are paid for their services. Interested in adding pre or post doc interns to your work with Medicaid patients? Let me know. Here are the rules.

Health and Behavior Codes
OPA psychologists are speaking up to Medicaid about billing health and behavior codes. Many private insurers pay psychologists for seeing patients with medical diagnosis but not a psychological diagnosis medical diagnosis for billing. We have had four meetings with more planned to get Medicaid to accept these codes. Dr. Kristine Woods of Akron Children’s Hospital is working diligently on this change since she experienced the value of these codes in Oklahoma where there are used by Medicaid. Read Dr. Wood’s article regarding Health and Behavior codes from the 2013 Ohio Psychologist. Contact me to join the team working on this important issue.