The OPPA, a district branch of the American Psychiatric Association, is a statewide medical specialty organization whose more than 1,000 physician members specialize in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mental illnesses, including substance use disorders.
Ohio is celebrating an important Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) milestone. Last week, 49 Ohio law enforcement personnel were recognized for 20 years of service as Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) officers. Retired Akron Police Department Lt. Michael S. Woody and Mark Munetz, MD, Northeast Ohio Medical University professor and chair emeritus of psychiatry, were the lead proponents of bringing CIT to Ohio in 2000. Today, all 88 Ohio counties have trained CIT officers. In addition, more than 16,000 professionals have been trained throughout Ohio, of which nearly 12,000 are sworn law enforcement officers.
With social distancing recommendations in place as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many mental health clinicians are turning to telehealth to meet with patients. However, while connecting virtually is better than not connecting at all, delivering essential mental health care this way poses specific challenges and risks, especially regarding clients at risk for suicide.
OPPA members, Steve Jewell, MD and Mackenzie Varkula, MD share with former Columbus Dispatch writer, Alan Johnson, their thoughts on how the use of telehealth/telepsychiatry may be the silver lining of the coronavirus-19 pandemic. Both the state and federal governments approved temporary waivers soon after the pandemic hit that allow care providers to be paid for telehealth appointments the same as in-person sessions. Regulations for prescribing medications were also temporarily relaxed. The key to continuing virtual mental health coverage is how the service is reimbursed long term.
The Ohio Academy of Family Physicians (OAFP) hosted a meeting of the Ohio Coalition of Primary Care Physicians (of which the OPPA is a member) on Friday, May 8. In addition to the legislative and regulatory actions taken that impact the practice of medicine during the COVID-19 pandemic, the group discussed potential opportunities for advocating for regulatory changes that were made on an emergency basis to become permanent. Telemedicine reimbursement is a prime example. Read More
The Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) announced updated information on the Technical Assistance Opportunity to Resolve Outstanding Accounts Receivables. To date, 18 behavioral health providers have submitted accounts receivable (A/R) complaints. ODM is offering technical assistance to facilitate claims review between providers and MCOs for claims dating back as far as July 2018 to resolve outstanding claim denials. Read More
June 15, 2020
June 30, 2020