Latest News


Renew your OPPA/APA membership today

It’s time to renew your membership for the 2022 renewal year! Maintain your access to the many benefits of APA/OPPA membership such as the American Journal of Psychiatry, free and discounted CME courses, practice resources, updates and services related to coding and reimbursement, reduced registration rates for the 2022 Annual Meeting, and more.


APA free class this month - Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Suicidal Behavior

Studies show that cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can benefit patients who are suicidal. This 75-minute workshop will review how CBT can be used to reduce hopelessness and develop safety plans with at-risk patients. For the month of October, the webinar is free, and physicians who participate can claim 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit*.


New ICD-10-CM codes now in effect

The 2021 release of ICD-10-CM includes new or updated codes for medical conditions that have been approved within the past year and notes the codes that have been deleted. Some of these changes pertain to mental disorders and thus affect the coding of DSM-5 disorders.


Hearings begin on HB 122 - Provision of Telehealth Services in Ohio

On September 15, Representative Mark Fraizer (R-Newark, OH) appeared before the Senate Health Committee to provide sponsor testimony on House Bill (HB) 122, regarding the provision of telehealth services in Ohio. HB 122 passed the Ohio House of Representatives on April 21, 2021, and is currently being heard by the Senate Health Committee. According to the testimony, the focus of this bill is to define the practitioners, services, communication types, and reimbursement standards associated with telehealth. This legislation also enables flexibility for services to be rendered across state lines (as other states are able to perform in Ohio), in-person meeting stipulations, and provides guidance for pandemic circumstances.


New policy brief outlines ways for Ohio policymakers to take action to address addiction

The Health Policy Institute of Ohio (HPIO) has released a brief includes: an update on where Ohio stands on addiction-related trends; a summary of Ohio's policy strengths, gaps, challenges and opportunities; a prioritized set of nine policy recommendations.


Ask an App Advisor: Discussion forum, October 12, 3 p.m. ET

Join APA for the 7th "Ask an App Advisor" web event, scheduled for October 12th at 3:00pm ET. During this event, you are invited to join APA's App Advisor group for a live Q&A and discussion on mental health apps. The goal of these sessions is to explain how our App Evaluation Model can work in real time, and to address questions from both the provider and patient perspectives about the Model. These events are open to the public; however, pre-registration is required. Depending on level of interest, APA may cap the number of attendees. Registrants have an opportunity to submit questions during the registration process or to ask them live during the event.


New fact sheet highlights opportunities for policymakers to support health, well-being of Ohioans of color

The Health Policy Institute of Ohio has released a new fact sheet that outlines actions state and local policymakers can take to support the health and well-being of Ohioans of color and move Ohio toward a more economically vibrant and healthier future. The fact sheet, titled “State and Local Policymakers: Ensuring Ohioans of Color Have a Fair Opportunity for Good Health,” is the first in a series of three that provides action steps that can be taken to address the health impacts of racism.


ODI will host a free Mental Health Insurance webinar on Sept. 21

The Department of Insurance is hosting a free webinar on Sept. 21 from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. to help Ohioans understand their mental health and substance use disorder benefits and how to access those benefits for mental health-related care. Mental health experts will be on hand to address topics of imports about the benefits.


Early Career Psychiatrists - join the OPPA inaugural peer support and network group

Tuesday, September 14, 2021 at 7 p.m.

Miss the camaraderie of residency? Want to build a community of colleagues from around the state? Come join the Early Career Psychiatrists (ECP) Committee for our inaugural peer support and networking virtual event! It will be held on Tuesday, September 14, 2021 at 7 p.m. The OPPA ECP Committee hopes to hold these meetings on a regular basis, and we’ll be interested in your ideas on how to make them meaningful for you. Any APA/OPPA member in their first seven years after training is welcome to join.


RFMs - what information do you need for transitioning to practice?

Resident-Fellow Members: Your Feedback Will Guide Future Courses APA wants to ensure it is offering residents and fellows the best information and courses for transitioning to practice. Please take this two-minute survey to assist in our planning for future free courses. This survey should be completed by resident-fellow members only.


Medicaid announces go-live date for the next generation managed care

The Ohio Department of Medicaid announced July 1, 2022 as the projected date on which managed care members will begin receiving services from one of the seven next generation managed care plans, including the Single Pharmacy Benefit Manager (SPBM), Provider Network Management (PNM) module, Centralized Credentialing, and Fiscal Intermediary. OhioRISE services through Aetna Better Health of Ohio are also projected to begin July 1, 2022.


Psychiatrists interested in child and adolescent psychiatry

Calling all residents, fellows, and early career psychiatrists interested in child and adolescent psychiatry! Join PRMS for a free virtual event on Thursday, August 26 at 6:30pm EDT, hosted by child and adolescent psychiatrist, Dr. Randall Gurak, where you'll hear more about the specialty and his experience, plus audience members can submit questions for Dr. Gurak to be answered live during a Q&A session.


CMS 2022 physician fee schedule proposed rule with comment period

Comments will be accepted by CMS until September 13

The calendar year 2022 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Rule with comment period was placed on display at the Federal Register on July 13, 2021. This proposed rule updates payment policies, payment rates, and other provisions for services furnished under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) on or after January 1, 2022. The policy and rates impact E/M visits, teaching physician services, telehealth, opioid treatment and more. OPPA members are encouraged to submit comments to OPPA or directly to CMS.


Administrative burdens that insurer policies/processes create for Ohio physicians

The Ohio State Medical Association continues to hear concerns from its members about the administrative burdens that insurer policies and processes create for them and their practices, along with certain roadblocks to care that their patients encounter due to those policies. OSMA is asking its members to email its Advocacy Team to provide feedback and share experiences.


APA shares Connections to Care videos on persons with MI who enter the criminal justice system

Communities across the country are actively working to address how individuals with mental illness enter our criminal justice system. We need to understand our state and local systems, the barriers and facilitators that may exist in those systems, and the support services that should be included when connecting individuals in the criminal justice system with with mental illness care. The American Psychiatric Association has created "Connections to Care," a two-part video series.


SMBO survey to identify which licensees personal information will exempt from public records

As a result of legislation supported by OPPA, signed into law by the Governor, physicians who meet criteria of "forensic mental health provider," "mental health evaluation provider," and "regional psychiatric hospital employee" are exempt from public records of their name, residential address, name of employer, and address of employer. The State Medical Board of Ohio is requesting physicians to complete a brief survey which will be utilized to update its contact information in accordance with the law.


OACBA issues new Developing a Better Understanding

Practicing Self-Care to Foster Resilience

The Ohio Association of County Behavioral Association has created a new fact sheet about how to practice self-care to build resilience. The COVID-19 pandemic has shaped more than a year of our lives, upending our daily routines and lifestyles. It disrupted the economy, livelihoods, and the physical and mental well-being of countless people worldwide. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a staggering 4 in 10 adults in the U.S. reported symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder, quadrupling the pre-pandemic rate. There have also been notable increases in alcohol consumption and substance use.


Ohio Overdose Awareness Day is August 31

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine recently signed Senate Bill 30, sponsored by Senator Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls, OH), designating Tuesday, August 31, as Ohio Overdose Awareness Day. In support of Ohio Overdose Awareness Day and Recovery Month this September, RecoveryOhio, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), and the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) are partnering to offer naloxone, stipends to facilitate overdose awareness and naloxone distribution events in your local community, and a partner toolkit.


Dr. Vanderhoff named Director of Ohio Department of Health

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine recently announced that Bruce T. Vanderhoff, M.D., will become the Director of the Ohio Department of Health, and that Stephanie McCloud, who has been serving as Director of the Ohio Department of Health, is returning to lead the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation as Administrator.


SMBO extends moratorium on in-person telehealth-related requirements to Dec. 31

During Ohio's Executive Order declaring a pandemic state of emergency, the State Medical Board of Ohio (SMBO) issued guidance indicating that physicians could use telemedicine in place of in person visits without enforcement action from the Medical Board. Recently, the board issued notice that physicians and other providers must resume the pre-pandemic telehealth requirements on Sept. 17, 2021. However, the SMBO recently voted to extend the moratorium on in-person telemedicine requirements until December 31.


OPPA to host 2021 Diversity in Psychiatry: Virtual Ohio Residency Recruitment Fair

For Under-represented 4th year medical students

Join us for the 2021 Diversity in Psychiatry: Virtual Ohio Residency Recruitment Fair. This event is open to only 4th year medical students and is geared toward giving diverse/underrepresented minorities in medicine (Black, LatinX, Indigenous, and LGBTQ) an opportunity to learn more about Ohio residency programs.


Ohio set new record for overdose deaths in 2020, CDC reports

The new figures showed that the Centers for Disease Control projected Ohio to hit 5,215 drug deaths — fourth in the U.S. for the nation's seventh-largest state — breaking the record of 4,854 set in 2017. The CDC warned that the 2020 figure will grow; the current total is regarded as underreported due to incomplete data. In 2014, Ohio led the country in overdose deaths — although the 2020 total is some 2.5 times higher.


Governor DeWine signs budget bill for fiscal years 2022-2023

On July 1, 2021, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed Ohio's Fiscal Year 2022-2023 operating budget into law. Amended Substitute House Bill 110, includes among other important issues, expanding investments into addressing substance use disorders and supporting Ohioans mental health and well-being, particularly those with severe mental illness. OPPA was a strong advocate in the process.


Wit vs. UBH: Update on court case related to medical necessity criteria

The Kennedy Forum provided an update recently on the lawsuit against United Behavioral Health (UBH) because the Defendant has appealed the lower court decision to the U.S. Court of appeals for the 9th Circuit. In March 2021, United Behavioral Health (UBH) attorneys appealed the district court ruling where the judge ruled that UBH developed and implemented flawed “medical necessity” criteria for mental health and substance use disorder (MH/SUD) treatment services.


Medical board telemedicine update following lift of Ohio's state of emergency

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Medical Board temporarily suspended the enforcement of rules that require in-person visits and allowed providers to use telemedicine to safely treat patients. On June 9, the board voted to resume enforcement of these rules.


Governor DeWine signs House Bill 168

Among other things, the bill, sponsored by Rep. Mark Fraizer (R-Newark) and Rep. Mike Loychik (R-Bazetta), invests $84 million in a pediatric behavioral health initiative administered by OhioMHAS. These funds will increase Ohio's capacity for youth behavioral health services and increase access and quality of care across all regions of the state.


July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

Despite advances in health equity, disparities in mental health care persist. 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.


Medical board approves three additional diagnoses for medical marijuana

At its meeting on June 9, the State Medical Board of Ohio (SMBO) met virtually and discussed petitions to add six new qualifying conditions to the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program. After discussion, the full board voted to accept four petitions and add Huntington’s disease, terminal illness (two petitions), and spasticity as qualifying conditions, effective immediately. The SMBO also voted to reject the petitions for autism spectrum disorder, restless leg syndrome, panic disorder with agoraphobia, and spasms. This brings the total number of qualifying conditions in the OMMCP to 25.


OPPA signs on to letter to the state budget conference committee members

As a member organization of the Coalition for Health Communities, OPPA signed a letter sent to the House and Senate Leadership and Conference Committee members with concerns regarding several issues related to mental illness and/or substance use disorders included in the State budget.


Growing list of opponents to HB 248 - Anti-vacine legislation

On June 14, the coalition of groups against House Bill 248 updated its letter adding the names of an additional 26 organizations that oppose this dangerous, anti-vaccine legislation that jeopardizes Ohio’s public health system.


OPPA members are encouraged to share their experiences with managed care companies in Ohio

The Behavioral Health Provider Coalition for Insurance Advocacy, of which OPPA is a member (on behalf of the OPPA Private Practice Committee), is collecting information from behavioral health clinicians across Ohio to compile a quarterly report for insurance companies and other behavioral health stakeholders. Your feedback prior to July 1 is greatly appreciated.


Join OPPA's team in support of the Moore Equity in MH virtual 5K Run/Walk/Roll - July 10

OPPA members, family and friends are invited to join the Ohio Psychiatric Physicians Association & Friends team in support of the APA sponsored MOORE Equity in Mental Health virtual 5K Run/Walk/Roll on July 10th. The event is intended to bring more awareness and to address mental health inequities facing Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) youth. In honor of the staunch mental health equity advocate Bebe Moore Campbell, the Division of Diversity and Health Equity of the APA created the event, “MOORE Equity in Mental Health 5K Run/Walk/Roll,” to be hosted during BIPOC Mental Health Awareness Month. Funds raised will go toward developing innovative awareness programs and provide services to improve the mental health of BIPOC youth.


Nominations invited for OPPA 2022 election

The Ohio Psychiatric Physicians Association seeks nominations for the following leadership positions: President-elect (1-year term), Secretary (2-year term), and two APA Representatives (three-year term). If you or someone you know are interested in serving on the OPPA Council, please send an email to


OhioMHAS Unveils Strategic Plan for 2021-2024

The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) is pleased to announce the availability of its Strategic Plan for 2021-2024. The new plan aligns with goals established by the RecoveryOhio Advisory Council and Governor Mike DeWine’s Ohio Minority Health Strike Force Blueprint.


Governor DeWine Signs Bill Designating Aug. 31 as Ohio Overdose Awareness Day

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed Senate Bill 30 into law during this week’s quarterly RecoveryOhio Advisory Council meeting, designating August 31 as Ohio Overdose Awareness Day. The bill, which was sponsored by Sen. Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls), seeks to raise public awareness of the opioid epidemic and to remember the lives lost to addiction.


HPIO releases new brief on criminal justice and health

The Health Policy Institute of Ohio has released a new brief titled Connections between Criminal Justice and Health. According to the brief, “The research evidence is clear that poor mental health and addiction are risk factors for criminal justice involvement and that incarceration is detrimental to health.”


Drug overdose deaths up 30% in pandemic year, government data shows

Data from the National Center for Health Statistics from October 2019 to October 2020 shows that mortality from overdoses from all types of drugs increased 30%, from 70,669 deaths in October 2019 to 91,862 deaths in October 2020.


APA Free Course of the Month for June: Correctional Psychiatry

The course "Correctional Psychiatry: Improving Access, Safety, and Efficacy" examines initiatives undertaken by correctional systems to improve access to and quality of mental health care. The potential for telehealth to provide standardized behavioral interventions in combination with telepsychiatry services is also discussed.


SAMHSA resource: Helping Your Loved One Who is Suicidal

A Guide for Family and Friends

When a friend or family member has suicidal thoughts or attempts suicide, it is a traumatic event that impacts the entire family. It is normal to feel scared, confused, or angry. If you are finding it difficult to determine whether or not your family member is at risk of suicide, seek help, and don’t wait. Families and friends play a key role in suicide prevention. SAMHSA's guide can be a great resource for helping patients who have family members who are in emotional distress and struggling with thoughts of suicide, as well as how to help get them the necessary support and treatment.


New CME Requirement on Duty to Report

Effective May 31, 2021, MDs, Dos, and DPMs will be required to complete one hour of continuing medical education (CME) prior to renewal on the topic of a licensee’s duty to report misconduct under section 4731.224 of the Ohio Revised Code (ORC). The enforcement of this requirement will commence with renewal applications submitted on or after Thursday, July 1.


AMA announces plan to combat racism in U.S. health system

The American Medical Association's plan has been in the works for more than a year. The group's leaders said health inequities highlighted by the pandemic, ongoing police brutality and recent race-based crimes have given the effort a sense of urgency. The AMA plan calls for more than diversifying its staff and adding members who are from Black, Hispanic, Indigenous and LGBTQ communities. It aims to embed anti-racist activities and education at every level of the organization. The AMA plans to use its clout to advocate for health equity public policies and to create and deliver anti-racist training for medical students, doctors and health systems.


OPPA Past-President, Steve Jewell, MD, will address the impact of COVID-19 on children's mental health

NAMI Ohio live Facebook discussion - May 26

Make plans to join the NAMI Ohio Children’s Division and pediatric psychiatrist Steve Jewell, MD, on May 26 from 6-7 p.m. for a live Facebook discussion on the impact of COVID-19 and Ohio’s children and what to expect as we transition back to in-person activities and interactions.


HPIO releases Ohio Medicaid Basics 2021

The Health Policy Institute of Ohio (HPIO) has released Ohio Medicaid Basics 2021. Medicaid pays for healthcare services for more than three million Ohioans with low incomes, including almost 1.3 million children. Federal and state expenditures on Medicaid accounted for about 38% of Ohio’s budget in state fiscal year 2020. And $1 out of every $6 spent on health care in the U.S. is spent on Medicaid.


OPPA participates in Ohio Coalition of Primary Care Physicians meeting on May 7

Executive Director, Janet Shaw, representing the Ohio Psychiatric Physicians Association, participated in the Ohio Coalition of Primary Care Physicians meeting held on May 7. The meeting was hosted by the Ohio Chapter, American College of Physicians.


Judges and Psychiatrist Leadership Initiative Summit

May 12, 8 p.m. Eastern

For more than 10 years, the Judges and Psychiatrists Leadership Initiative (JPLI) has brought together experts in the field of mental health and criminal justice to address the over criminalization of people who enter the justice system. The inaugural JPLI Leadership Summit will include the presentation of the Judge Stephen S. Goss Memorial Award for leadership by a judge and a psychiatrist. Ohio's Former Justice Evelyn Stratton (retired) and OPPA member and past president, Mark Munetz, MD will be presented with the awards.


ODH updates allowable charges for copying medical records for 2021

The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) has released updated amounts that physicians and other health care professionals can charge for copying medical records in 2021. The Ohio Revised Code requires that the ODH use the Consumer Price Index to determine the amount of increase or decrease in costs for providing medical records. The increase for 2021 is a 1.23% increase from 2020.


Two new APA membership categories will replace Rule of 95

Beginning with the 2022 renewal year - members may opt-in now

Beginning in 2022, two new membership categories, “semi-retired and “retired,” approved by the APA Board of Trustees and Assembly in 2018, will be available. A semi-retired member is defined as a general or life member who is near retirement age and works less than 15 hours a week in all administrative or clinical roles, including consulting. A retired member is defined as a general member who has reached retirement age and is fully retired from all administrative or clinical roles.


2021 Federal Advocacy Conference - All APA members invited to attend

The event will take place on two days: June 5 and June 10

The 2021 Federal Advocacy Conference is a unique opportunity for psychiatrists to lobby members of Congress on issues that affect their practice and patients. All APA members are invited to attend and play a critical role in shaping health care policy during the 117th Congress. Registration closes on May 28, 2021.


APA Free Course of the Month – May

"Doctor, Are You Sure I Am Bipolar?" Challenges in the Differential Diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder

This course focuses on providing the practicing psychiatrist with key elements necessary for the correct identification of BD patients. Critical aspects of the clinical history and mental status exam will be discussed, with a particular emphasis on atypical presentations of BD and their differential diagnosis with other conditions, such as major depressive disorder, borderline personality disorder, attention-deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and substance-induced mood disorder.


May 2021 Mental Health Month Toolkits Available for Download

To help promote May as Mental Health Month, Mental Health America (MHA) and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) have developed toolkits to help communities generate awareness and understanding about mental health, while working to reduce stigma.


HHS releases new buprenorphine practice guidelines, expanding access to treatment for opioid use disorder

In an effort to get evidenced-based treatment to more Americans with opioid use disorder, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that it is releasing new buprenorphine practice guidelines that among other things, remove a longtime requirement tied to training, which some practitioners have cited as a barrier to treating more people.


42 CFR Part 2 Update

The Center of Excellence for Protected Health Information (CoE-PHI) prepared answers to frequently asked questions that were raised by participants during the "Understanding the Final Rule for 42 CFR Part 2 and Next Steps" webinar hosted by APA, AAAP, and ASAM.


ASAM criteria survey to inform the upcoming 4th edition

Deadline to respond is May 14

The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) is conducting a survey to seek comments from diverse stakeholders including treatment providers, system administrators, health plans, policy makers, and patients and families on experiences with The ASAM Criteria to help inform the upcoming 4th edition.


Take Outpatient Insurance Participation Survey

Please take a few moments to help us understand the nature of your outpatient practice, your experience with participating in health plan networks, and what kinds of issues are most important to you. This will help APA and your district branch to advocate for you before health plan payers, legislators, and regulatory agencies.


Every OPPA member is important! If you haven't paid your APA/OPPA dues yet - we need you!

At a time when the field of psychiatry is facing numerous challenges due to the pandemic and the continued need to advocate on behalf of our patients who have mental illness or substance use disorders, it is more important than ever to be a part of your professional home as a member of the OPPA/APA. Don’t lose the valuable benefits that both organizations offer you.


APA Releases Plan to Advance Mental Health Equity

The new strategic plan outlines five priority areas for APA’s Division of Diversity and Health Equity. The plan is designed to build on past successes while advancing new and innovative efforts to achieve diversity and equity in psychiatry.


Ohio to create statewide support system for child and adolescent behavioral health

Ohio's Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health “Center of Excellence” will offer training and technology and administrative services, including increased access to government support through telehealth. Multiple departments, including the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, created the request for qualified contractors to help develop the center.


Former OPPA President, Herman Tolbert, MD, dies from COVID-related pneumonia

It is with great sadness the OPPA learned this week that long-time member and a past-president, Herman A. Tolbert, MD, passed away on January 1, 2021 of COVID-related pneumonia. Following a long and distinguished career, after he retired (for the second time), Dr. Tolbert returned to his home state of Alabama to be with family. The next issue of Insight Matters will include a tribute to Dr. Tolbert.


Risk Management Webinar: Psych-cess for residents, fellows and early career psychiatrists

Offered by PRMS on Mar. 20 and Mar. 23

Professional Risk Management Services (PRMS) will be presenting its Spring session on PRMS Psych-cess, a virtual event for residents, fellows and early career psychiatrists. Using PRMS’ 30+ years of experience managing psychiatric risk, this webinar will help set attendees up for success in their psychiatric careers by addressing topics not often formally discussed in residency training – everything from telepsychiatry, psychopharmacology, social media, and more.


Temporary relaxation of physician assistant supervision

State Medical Board of Ohio

Senate Bill 310 was signed into law on December 29, 2020, by Governor Mike DeWine. Several sections respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting strain on health care providers. The emergency clause attached to this bill made it effective immediately upon Gov. DeWine’s signature until Saturday, May 1, 2021.


Congratulations newly approved Distinguished Fellows!

The American Psychiatric Association's Board of Trustees met and approved the applications submitted by OPPA to advance four members to the status of Distinguished Fellows. These members will be invited to attend the virtual Convocation of Distinguished Fellows during the APA Annul Meeting in May.


OhioMHAS Telehealth Provider Survey

Response deadline extended to Feb. 26

Ohio Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) licensed and/or certified providers are invited to participate in a telehealth survey. The Department seeks to gain an understanding of provider experiences with telehealth implementation with a special focus on technology/community needs to broaden access to telehealth, available community resources, and enhancing workforce capacity and/or competence. Please submit one survey response per organization. If your organization has more than one site and responses vary, please complete one survey per site. The deadline to participate has been extended to Feb. 26.


OACBHA issues new Developing a Better Understanding

Dismantling Racism and Advancing Health Equity

The Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health Authorities has released a new "Developing a Better Understanding" fact sheet on Dismantling Racism and Advancing Health Equity. The COVID-19 has heightened and further exacerbated health inequities. Going forward, we must all collectively work across all fronts to dismantle racism and advance equity.


Biden administration expected to rescind Medicaid work requirements

The Biden administration plans to wipe out one of the core health policies of the Trump era, taking actions that will immediately rescind permission for states to compel poor residents to work in exchange for receiving Medicaid benefits


New brief highlights implications of COVID-19 for mental health and substance use

The Kaiser Family Foundation has published a new issue brief that explores mental health and substance use during, and prior to, the COVID-19 pandemic. The brief provides key data points and focuses on populations that were particularly at risk for experiencing negative mental health or substance abuse consequences during the pandemic, including young adults, people experiencing job loss, parents and children, communities of color, and essential workers.


Register now for OPPA Virtual Annual Psychiatric Update on March 26-27, 2021

The OPPA will hold its 2021 Annual Psychiatric Update -- Virtually -- on March 26-27, 2021. This year's virtual event entitled: Social Justice in Psychiatry - From Awareness to Clinical Impact will highlight a wide variety of topics of interest to psychiatrists and other practitioners who treat individuals with mental illnesses (including addiction disorders). This won't just be another zoom virtual meeting, OPPA is utilizing a virtual conference platform that is highly interactive and engaging - it will be very much like attending the event in person, face-to-face!


Town Hall - APA Addresses Structural Racism, Part 4, Mon., Feb. 8, 8-9:30 p.m.

Structural Racism & Psychiatric Residency Training: Recruitment, Retention, and Development

Join us for a live Town Hall to examine how structural racism affects diversity in the psychiatric workforce. Topics will include the disproportionate number of minority psychiatrists, their experiences in different practice settings, and why having diversity in the psychiatric workforce is important for everyone. Register Today & Submit Your Questions:


February Course of the Month – Racism and Climate Change: Impacts on Communities of Color

The devastating impacts of global warming and associated environmental degradation are serious general health and mental health issues. Although all global populations will be affected, the impacts are not equally distributed. Communities of color are among the first and most profoundly impacted.


A United Vision for the Future of Mental Health, Addiction and Well-Being in the U.S.

As COVID began to spread across the United States in early 2020, the leaders of the nation’s 14 leading mental health, addiction and well-being advocacy groups and professional organizations began meeting weekly to generate proposals for how to powerfully address the new wave of need. With their combined expertise working on the fault lines of substance use, suicide and severe mental illness towards well-being and resilience, they created a Unified Vision for Transforming Mental Health and Substance Use Care, that offers actionable pathways for success. And, for the first time, there is strong agreement among stakeholders about what must be done.


HHS efforts to expand access to medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder put on hold

Eliminates X-waiver requirement

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced previously that it will publish new guidelines that will expand access to medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder by exempting physicians from certain certification requirements necessary for prescribing buprenorphine. CORRECTION: This decision has been put on hold.


Roll out of

The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) has received a $360,000 planning grant from Vibrant Emotional Health to assist with the roll out of the new nationwide ‘988’ calling code for suicide prevention. In July 2022, 988 will replace the current National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255).


APA issues apology for past support of racism in psychiatry

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) apologizes to Black, Indigenous and People of Color for its support of structural racism in psychiatry. Written and issued by the organization’s Board of Trustees, the apology acknowledges past practices and events in psychiatry that contributed to racial inequality, and expresses the organization’s commitment to developing anti-racist policies that promote equity in mental health for all.


Public Health Emergency officially extended

Health and Human Services Secretary Azar has extended the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) declaration effective Jan. 21, 2021 for an additional 90 days. This means that all of the telehealth and other waivers and flexibilities that have been implemented during the COVID PHE will remain in effect until at least April 21, 2021.


Temporary Relaxation of Physician Assistant Supervision

The State Medical Board of Ohio issued an important update on January 6, 2021 announcing an emergency clause that temporarily relaxes physician assistant supervision in Ohio.


2021 Medicaid Managed Care Survey - 10,000 random physicians selected

The Ohio Department of Medicaid is gathering feedback about physicians’ satisfaction with Medicaid managed care plans. The survey is being sent to a random sample of 10,000 practices. OPPA strongly encourages practices to complete it—as this information will help with reforms in Medicaid that could impact your practice in 2021 and beyond. For more information, contact the survey administrator, IPRO at 800-633-9441.


Duty to report - State Medical Board of Ohio

Ohio physicians and many other allied health care providers, regulated by the State Medical Board of Ohio (SMBO), are obligated to report violations of law, rule, and code of ethics standards to the SMBO. Knowing a colleague is violating regulations and not reporting it to the SMBO not only puts patients at risk but also puts your license to practice in jeopardy.


CDC Drug Overdose Death Rates Accelerating Amid Pandemic

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the overdose epidemic has accelerated across the country and in Ohio (Source: “Overdose Deaths Remain High in Ohio, U.S. in 2020.” According to a recently released U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report, more than 81,000 overdose deaths reported between June 2019 and May 2020 were the most-ever reported in the country during a 12-month period.


Steve Jewell, MD selected to serve on the OhioRISE Advisory Council

The OhioRISE Advisory Council will hold its first meeting on Jan. 11 from 12-1:30 p.m. The Advisory Council’s members represent a diverse set of multi-system stakeholders: people with lived experience, local public entities from child and family-serving systems, providers of services and supports, clinical experts, and advocates. As a reminder, the Ohio Department of Medicaid's OhioRISE (Resilience through Integrated Systems and Excellence) is a specialized managed care program for youth with complex behavioral health and multi-system needs.


Happy Holidays from OPPA

On behalf of OPPA's Council members and staff, we wish you a peaceful, happy, healthy and safe holiday season! We hope your time with family and friends is special, whether in-person or virtually. We wish you a very joyful New Year despite these difficult times. May we all soon be able to put challenges of this year behind us as we move on to a much brighter future in the weeks and months to come.


APA Assembly Access to Care Committee seeks members' feedback

Please complete the three to four minute survey prior to Feb. 1, 2021

The Assembly Access to Care Committee is conducting a survey to identify issues on local and APA wide levels related to access to mental health care. The committee is charged with identifying and reflecting on grass roots concerns, initiatives and issues related to access to care, public and private sectors. Survey results will be communicated to the APA Assembly. Your feedback is greatly appreciated.


COVID-19 relief bill passes - a win for individuals with mental illness and their families

Good news from the nation’s capital as we head into the final days of 2020. This week, Congress passed a historic COVID-19 relief package that includes funding to help states provide desperately needed mental health services. Specifically, the Federal stimulus bill: • Allocates $4.25B for psychiatric treatment, 10 times the amount that groups that treat mental health received in the last emergency spending bill.


Ohio Medicaid seeks to lighten physicians’ administrative load

On December 8, the Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) announced that it has awarded its Fiscal Intermediary (FI) service contract to Gainwell Technologies, taking another important step forward in delivering a person-centric next generation managed care program to Ohio. The FI service contract is a part of a larger effort to modernize ODM’s management information systems, developed in accordance with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) guidance.


Honoring Rev. Dr. King: Examining Bias in Ourselves

A free webinar hosted by APA Area 4 on January 16, 2021 - 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Join us for a lecture presented by Cheryl Wills, MD, followed by an interactive breakout room discussion of implicit bias. Please RSVP as soon as possible, as space is limited.


One in five U.S. adults report experiencing discrimination in healthcare system

According to an analysis published by JAMA Network Open, nearly two in five participants in a survey of more than 2,100 people reported they experienced racial and ethnic discrimination when seeking medical care, making it the most common form of bias, the data showed.


State Pharmacy Board issues FAQ on pharmacist consult agreements

Effective December 16, changes to section 4729.39 of the Ohio Revised Code (House Bill 203 – 133rd General Assembly) expand the type of providers with whom a pharmacist may enter into a consult agreement.


APA/APAF Fellowships and Medical Student Programs application cycle is now open

Deadline: January 31, 2021

The American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychiatric Association Foundation Fellowships provide psychiatry residents and early career psychiatrists the experiential learning, training, and professional development they need to be leaders in the field of psychiatry. The fellowship programs offer opportunities to work with Congress on health policy, conduct research of personal design, expand access to care to minority and underserved populations, focus on child psychiatry or substance abuse, and much more.


ODH issues a COVID-19 Vaccine Myth vs. Fact handout

The Ohio Department of Health recently released a COVID-19 Vaccine Myth vs. Fact handout that may be helpful to you in discussing COVID-19 vaccines and safety strategies with patients.


SCOTUS agrees to hear case on Medicaid work requirements

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case on the Trump administration’s push for Medicaid work requirements, though the issue could be moot when President-Elect Joe Biden takes office.


New SAMHSA Resource: Treatment for Suicidal Ideation, Self-Harm, and Suicide Attempts Among Youth

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has released Treatment for Suicidal Ideation, Self-Harm, and Suicide Attempts Among Youth. The goal of this guide is to provide interventions to treat for suicidal ideation, self-harm, and suicide attempts among youth. It provides research on implementation and examples of the ways that these recommendations can be implemented.


Medical Board issues scam alerts

The State Medical Board of Ohio has announced that licensees should be on alert for a scam that has resurfaced targeting Ohio prescribers. Scammers have been calling and faxing prescribers stating they have been investigated for drug trafficking by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and their license has been suspended effective immediately. During one reported incident, the scammers called a physician’s office, faxed a fraudulent document to the physician using the State Medical Board of Ohio's logo and used spoofing technology, so it appeared they were legitimately calling from the board’s office.


HPIO releases new fact sheet from the Addiction Evidence Project

The Health Policy Institute of Ohio has released a new fact sheet on Ohio's policy response to the addiction crisis and its implications for children, youth and families. The fact sheet, titled “On the Horizon: Changes and Concerns,” summarizes upcoming policy changes and initiatives that aim to address the issue, as well as looming concerns that could threaten progress.


New suicide prevention video series to air on Ohio PBS stations

The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) today announced the release of a four-part video series focused on prevention of suicide and supports for people with mental health concerns. Suicide in Ohio: Conversations, was developed in partnership with the Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation (OSPF) and will launch on The Ohio Channel/PBS stations beginning Dec. 10 at 8 p.m.


Medical licensure renewal extended to July 1, 2021

The State Medical Board of Ohio has announced that Medical Board licensees who have licenses set to expire during the period of emergency (March 9, 2020 – April 1, 2021) now have until July 1, 2021 to renew their license. Despite this renewal extension, all affected licensees are still able to renew at their regularly scheduled deadline and there are benefits for doing so.


Developing a Better Understanding - Navigating the Holidays and a Pandemic

The holidays can bring about great joy and connection for many. It can also add stress, anxiety, and feelings of isolation. Navigating the holidays while also navigating a pandemic may increase feelings of stress, anxiety, isolation, and depression for many. The Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health Authorities has issued the latest one pager on coping with holiday-related stress.


Facts About Stigma, Prejudice and Discrimination Against People with Mental Illness

New resource for patients and families

The American Psychiatric Association has a new resource page designed for patients and their families and the public at large which reviews the facts on stigma, including the various types and their harmful effects, and then shares ways to address it.


Free course of the month: Paradise Lost: The Neurobiology of Child Abuse

Each month, the American Psychiatric Association offers a free on-demand course of the month to members. Brain imaging, neuroendocrine and neurotransmitter studies have revealed the many long-term biological consequences of child abuse and neglect, which underlie an increased vulnerability to mood and anxiety disorders in adulthood.


APAF virtual town hall on Mentally-Healthy Families in Times of a Pandemic

December 2, 2020 from 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm ET

During the next American Psychiatric Association Foundation’s virtual town hall APA's psychiatric experts will participate in a candid discussion to help parents and caregivers recognize common signs of stress, learn ways to manage stress, and explore examples of how you can plan stress relief activities for your family.


Gov. DeWine appoints new Health Director and Chief Medical Officer

Earlier this month, Ohio Governor, Mike DeWine, announced that Stephanie McCloud had been appointed to the position of Ohio Department of Health Director, who previously served as the Director of the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation. DeWine also announced a new position of Chief Medical Officer for the state as the pandemic continues to effect the state.:Bruce Vanderhoff, MD, has been serving for more than a decade as the Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Ohio Health. Past president, Bill Resch, DO, who knows Dr. Vanderhoff well, shared personal insight about ODH's new Chief Medical Officer.


OPPA Annual Psychiatric Update - March 26-27, Virtual

The OPPA's 2021 Annual Psychiatric Update will be held virtually on Friday, March 26, 1 - 5 p.m. and Saturday, March 26, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. In addition to an outstanding line-up of topics and speakers, there will be plenty of opportunities to take a break, network with colleagues, talk with exhibitors and more. The event will be so much more than your typical Zoom meetings! The theme is: Social Justice in Psychiatry: from awareness to clinical impact


Children Services Transformation Advisory Council's final report

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine released the Children Services Transformation Advisory Council's final report, which includes recommendations for reforming Ohio's children services systems. The 37 recommendations address: prevention; workforce; practice; kinship; foster care; adoption and juvenile justice.


In case you missed it: Medicaid updates provider billing manual and Medicare Bypass

Provider Billing Manual The Ohio Department of Medicaid's updates were made to reflect Ohio Administrative Code 5160-1-18 permanent rule changes. When services are rendered via telehealth, the GT modifier will be required on claims for those services. Services billable to Medicare and TPL Bypass List This resource document now contains a second Medicare tab for those opioid treatment programs (OTP) enrolled in Medicare. In addition, procedure codes were updated to reflect currently used procedure codes.


District court issues injunction against UBH for failure to cover MH/SUD

A federal district court yesterday ruled that United Behavioral Health (UBH) must use medical necessity criteria and assessment tools developed by mental health and substance use disorder specialty organizations when making coverage-related determinations. Judge Joseph Spero of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California issued a remedies order in Wit v. United Behavioral Health that included (1) a 10-year injunction requiring UBH to exclusively apply medical necessity criteria developed by non-profit clinical specialty associations; (2) appointment of a special master; (3) training of UBH in the proper use of court-ordered medical necessity criteria; and (4) reprocessing of nearly 67,000 mental health and substance use disorder benefit claims.


OPPA comments on proposed rule - 2021 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule

OPPA submitted comments on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) proposals regarding the 2021 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule and Quality Payment Program. OPPA supported a number of proposals including increasing payments for outpatient E/M services as well as specific psychiatric services and collaborative care; continuation of a number of the flexibilities related to providing care via telehealth including expanding the number of Medicare approved telehealth services and audio only coverage.


Protecting veterans against dangerous pilot program

Efforts by OPPA and APA successfully pushed back against a federal proposal to establish an experimental pilot program to allow clinical psychologists to prescribe and manage medications in the Veterans Administration health system. Ultimately, the U.S. House of Representatives Veterans Affairs Committee heard APA’s concerns and removed the provision from a legislative package to help prevent veteran suicides.


Coming soon! CPT coding/documentation for psychiatry

The OPPA will be offering a 4-part webinar series during the month of Dec. (possibly earlier if they are available) to educate/update members and their office/billing personnel on changes to E&M coding in 2021, therapy coding, telehealth/telepsychiatry and more. Additional information and details will be added to the OPPA website and communicated through e-Insight Update as it becomes available.


HHS finalizes price transparency rules

Health insurers will be required to publicly post, in advance, the price for the most common services and procedures, under a recent rule finalized by the federal Department of Health and Human Services. Beginning in 2022, insurers will be required to make available data files on the costs of various procedures, to better allow for research studies, and to help developers design tools to let patients compare costs across insurance plans.


APA addresses structural racism - Part Three

Disparities in mental health for people of color remain pervasive and persist across generations. There is a growing consensus that structural and interpersonal racial discrimination fundamentally impacts mental health in communities of color. Join APA leadership and distinguished speakers for a virtual Town Hall on Monday, Nov. 16, to explore the impact experiencing discrimination has across generations, and the degree to which the health consequences of racism and bigotry can be passed down from one generation to the next.