Latest News


COVID-19: How OPPA members can help

You are on the front lines of this crisis. Keep us informed of what's happening in your local area - and in your practice setting. Let us know what you and your patients need. Let us know if you are now providing tele-psychiatry and how it's going. Let us know if recent changes implemented by Ohio Medicaid, health insurance company's the medical board and others is working for you. This feedback will enable us to identify areas of top priority that we can work on with ODH, OhioMHAS, insurance carriers and Ohio's administration and legislators when appropriate. Click on the more to comment and/or send an email to


COVID-19: Ohio Legislative Changes

Ohio Legislature Responds to the COVID-19 Emergency The Ohio Psychiatric Physicians Association (OPPA) is committed to keeping Ohio psychiatrists informed on state and federal updates related to COVID-19, especially how they impact Ohio’s medical practices and healthcare professionals. This week the Ohio House and Senate passed a COVID-19 package to address legislative changes necessary to continue fighting this pandemic.


Guidance from OhioMHAS for Opiate Treatment Programs

In case you missed it, the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) has released a guidance document with answers to frequently asked questions for opiate treatment programs (OTPs). Read More


Clozapine REMS now allowing clozapine refills without blood draw

The Clozapine Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) is an FDA-mandated program implemented by the manufacturers of clozapine which includes a patient registry and requirements for prescribers, pharmacists, patients, and distributors. Until today, it has required patients to have their blood drawn and tested each time by their pharmacist before they receive Clozapine. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and recent medical evidence, the Clozapine REMS program will now allow pharmacists to use their discretion and not require blood draws to before providing Clozapine. Read More


OPPA On-demand Webinar on Telepsychiatry and COVID-19: Coding & Documentation

What Psychiatrists and Other Behavioral Health Clinicians Need to Know

So much is changing minute-by-minute with the coronavirus (COVID-19). There has never been a greater need (and opportunity) for Ohio psychiatrists and other mental health clinicians to provide telepsychiatry/telehealth services. Medicare, Medicaid and many commercial insurance health plans are making changes to their processes and policies with respect to telepsychiatry/telehealth services making it possible to care for as many patients in Ohio in a safe and expedient manner. Read More


Medicaid emergency rules executed to expand and enhance telehealth for Ohioans

The Ohio Departments of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) and Medicaid (ODM), in partnership with the Governor’s Office, have executed emergency rules to expand and enhance telehealth options for Ohioans and their providers. These rules will relax regulations so that more people can be served safely in their homes rather than needing to travel to addiction and mental health treatment centers. Read More


OPPA to conduct annual business meeting via livestream video

With the cancellation of the OPPA Annual Psychiatric Update, the annual face-to-face business meeting was also cancelled. The virtual meeting will be held on Sat., April 4, beginning at 10 a.m., EDT, lasting no more than 30 min. On March 20, all voting members of OPPA will be sent an invitation to take part in the virtual business meeting. Read More


ODI bulletin: Access to Coverage for Ohioans Impacted by the COVID-19 Virus

Telemedicine coverage by health insurers

The Ohio Department of Insurance (ODI) issued a bulletin on March 11, which addresses coverage of telemedicine in light of COVID-19. Insurers are encouraged to implement early adoption of the new law that goes into effect Jan.,1, 2021 which prohibits insurers from excluding coverage for a service that is otherwise covered under the health plan solely because it is delivered as a telemedicine service. Read More


Pharmacy board changes rule for refills amid COVID-19

The Ohio State Board of Pharmacy changes rule that expands the pharmacist’s authority to provide emergency refills to patients who have a prescription history with the drug they need refilled. Emergency refill for controlled substances for 30 days and non-controlled substances for 90 days. Read More


Free Live Webinar from SMI Adviser (APA & SAMHSA) - Fri., March 20

Telepsychiatry in the Era of COVID-19

This webinar will offer learners an overview of how to use telemental health and video visits in the changing landscape surrounding the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. Read More


CMS loosens telehealth restrictions after COVID-19 declared national emergency

Medicare patients seeking certain medical services—including mental health services—can now be seen using live videoconferencing in their homes. They do not need to travel to a qualifying “originating site” for Medicare telehealth encounters, regardless of geographic location, according to a guidance issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Read More


Medical Board will suspends enforcement of the continuing education requirements for the renewal of a license

Beginning immediately, the Medical Board will suspend enforcement of the continuing education requirements for the renewal of a license issued by the State Medical Board of Ohio. This includes, but is not limited to, the requirement for Ohio physicians to obtain 50 hours of Category 1 CME at the time of their license renewal. Read More


SMBO suspends enforcement of any regulations requiring in-person visits between providers and patients

Beginning immediately, the Medical Board will suspend enforcement of any regulations requiring in-person visits between providers and patients. This exercise of enforcement discretion includes, but is not limited to, enforcement of regulations related to providers prescribing to patients not seen in-person by the physician. Read More


During a Viral Pandemic, Anxiety is Endemic

The Psychiatric Aspects of COVID-19

OPPA Newsletter Editor, Henry Nasrallah, MD, shares his thoughts about the important role psychiatrists play in times like these, especially for patients who already suffer from anxiety disorders or depression. Read More


OPPA cancels 2020 Annual Psychiatric Update to avoid any potential spread of the Coronavirus

In an effort to minimize the potential for the spread of the Coronavirus, the OPPA Council voted to cancel its annual meeting planned for March 14-15 in Columbus, OH. Read More


APA FREE Course of the Month - March 2020

Highs and Lows: Clinical Pearls and Lessons Learned in the Outpatient Management of Geriatric Bipolar Disorder

This course reviews guidelines for the treatment of aging patients with bipolar disorder. It will cover several challenging and complicated cases of geriatric bipolar disorder treated in an interdisciplinary outpatient clinic. Read More


OPPA testifies in support of SB 254 - Mental Health Parity

On Wed., Feb. 12, OPPA President-Elect, Megan Testa, MD, spoke in support of Senate Bill 254, the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act. This bill would align Ohio’s mental health parity laws with current federal law; raise awareness amongst individuals, families, and employers about their rights and responsibilities under the law; and facilitate greater implementation and enforcement to ensure that health plans are complying with parity laws. Read More


APA Annual Psychiatric Update - March 14-15, 2020

Practical Psychiatry: Pragmatic Approaches and Clinical Pearls

Registration is open and seats are filling quickly for OPPA's upcoming Annual Psychiatric Update, which will be held at the Marriott University Hotel on March 14-15. The OPPA brings together thought leaders from across the nation for this one and a half-day conference, focusing on various aspects of practice that psychiatrists routinely encounter which spans pharmacological, therapeutic, regulatory, media and administrative issues. Practical psychiatry increases knowledge, builds confidence, expands connectedness, decreases helplessness and supports resilience. Read More


APA provides feedback to CMS on APRN and PA supervision

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) expressed its concerns to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding the elimination of Medicare supervision and licensure requirements that are more stringent than other applicable federal or state laws, potentially resulting in the reduction of supervision requirements for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) and Physician Assistants (PAs). Read More


Ohio Medicaid Single Formulary went into effect on Jan. 1

In case you missed it, the Ohio Department of Medicaid published a Unified Preferred Drug List (UPDL) that went live on January 1. The UPDL applies to the ENTIRE Medicaid population, Managed Care, and Fee for Service (FFS). Read More


ODM Request for Information #2

On February 4, 2020, the Ohio Department of Medicaid released a second Request for Information (RFI) outlining its vision for a reimagined statewide managed care program. The RFI seeks input from providers, associations, advocacy groups, data and information technology vendors, and managed care organizations. Feedback requested by March 3, 2020. Read More


Report by Mental Health America shines spotlight on mental health in the workplace

Mental Health America (MHA) released a new report focused on the American workforce and mental health, Creating a Healthy Workplace: Impact of Supervisor Support and Company Culture. The findings of this new report complement and expand upon a 2019 study that showed that supervisor communication and a company culture of safe and open communication are correlated with an employee’s motivation, confidence, and pride. Read More


Now accepting applications – HIV psychiatry elective

Apply for the 2020 Medical Student Elective in HIV psychiatry. The elective will begin with an intensive, two-day training Aug. 27-28, 2020, at the APA headquarters in Washington, D.C. The training will cover neuropsychiatric complications of HIV, somatic complaints, mood disorders, treating co-occurring substance use disorders, and more.


APA free course of the month - Feb. 2020

Emerging Treatment Strategies for Mood and Anxiety Disorders

Check out a free APA member benefit by taking this on-demand CME course on emerging treatments and approaches for mood and anxiety disorders. Presented by Stefan Kloiber, M.D., University of Toronto, Yuliya Knyahnytska, M.D., Ph.D., University of Toronto, Nazanin Alavi, M.D., FRCPC, Queens University, Alpna Munshi, M.D., FRCPC, University of Toronto, and Ishrat Husain, MBBS, University of Toronto.


Last Chance to Register! Documentation and Coding Psychiatry and Behavioral Health Care 2020 - Jan. 28

Registration is now open for this day-long coding workshop in Columbus, presented by Diane Zucker, M.Ed., CCS-P, is designed for psychiatrists and their new or experienced billing and coding staff and all other mental health professionals who want to stay current with new information, rules and policies that impact billing for mental health services. Read More


ODM director, Maureen Corcoran outlines nearly 1,100 defects in state's technology system

Recently, Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) Director Maureen Corcoran sent a report to Governor DeWine outlining a series of issues that ODM is currently working to address. The state's technology system that determines whether adults and children are eligible for Ohio Medicaid has nearly 1,100 defects, according to Director Corcoran.


ODM Unified Preferred Drug Formulary List (PDDL)

Effective January 1, 2020

The Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) is implementing a Unified Preferred Drug List (UPDL) on January 1st, 2020 that will encompass the entire Medicaid population regardless of enrollment in Managed Care or Fee for Service (FFS). ODM pharmacy staff and leaders from the Managed Care Plans collaborated together in clinical, technical, and communications-based workgroups to help ensure a smooth transition.


New Treatment Finder Resource Coming Feb. 1

Beginning on Feb. 1, 2020, OhioMHAS will refer people seeking mental health or substance use disorder treatment to a new treatment finder tool, an online treatment finder database created by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), which collected information on thousands of state-licensed providers who specialize in treating substance use disorders, addiction, and mental illness.


Research paper submission deadline is Dec. 31, 2019!

Every year, psychiatrists, residents and medical students across Ohio conduct research that significantly contributes to the science of psychiatric practice. The OPPF supports this research and recognizes authors for their contributions. We hope you take this opportunity to submit a paper yourself and/or to recognize the important work being done in your city or academic institution. Read More


MHPAEA legislation introduced in both the Ohio House and Senate

Bipartisan companion bills have been introduced in the Ohio House and Senate to align Ohio's mental health parity laws with the current federal law, Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act. In addition, the legislation is intended to raise awareness among individuals, families, and employers about their rights and responsibilities under the law, as well as facilitate greater implementation and enforcement. Read More


Documentation and Coding Psychiatry and Behavioral Health Care 2020 - Jan. 28

Registration is now open for this day-long coding workshop in Columbus, presented by Diane Zucker, M.Ed., CCS-P, is designed for psychiatrists and their new or experienced billing and coding staff and all other mental health professionals who want to stay current with new information, rules and policies that impact billing for mental health services. Read More


FTC votes to set up a new hotline to address the increasing rates of suicide

On Thursday the Federal Communications Commission unanimously voted to proceed with a proposal to set up a new hotline similar to 911 — only, instead of dialing the police, the number would connect callers to experts in suicide prevention and mental health. The proposed number, 988, would link callers to an already existing network of crisis centers around the country set up by the Department of Health and Human Services. Read More


Help is at your fingertips to care for people with SMI

SMI Adviser is a free resource for all mental health professionals who care for individuals with serious mental illness (SMI). Download the all-new SMI Adviser mobile app to access free education, submit questions and receive feedback from national experts, and find resources that help you implement evidence-based care. Read More


First-of-its-kind waiver blunts decades-old discriminatory Medicaid policy that spurred nationwide bed shortage crisis

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced that the District of Columbia has been granted a "first-of-its-kind" waiver of the IMD exclusion, a decades-old federal law that hinders states' ability to provide hospital care for mental illness. With their waiver approved, DC may now seek Medicaid reimbursement for care provided in certain mental health facilities defined as "institutions for mental disease. Read More


#GivingTuesday helps OPPF to achieve its mission

Today is #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving. GivingTuesday was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good. Over the past seven years, it has grown into a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate and celebrate generosity. Please make a tax-deductible contribution to the Ohio Psychiatric Physicians Foundation today. Read More


Ohio Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) to be introduced

Representative Phil Plummer and Representative Allison Russo will soon be introducing the Ohio Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA). The aim of this legislation is to align state law with current federal law; raise awareness amongst individuals, families and employers about their rights and responsibilities under the law; and facilitate greater implementation and enforcement by the Ohio Department of Insurance. Read More


Cost of health insurance and deductibles is outpacing median income

Across the United States, the cost of health insurance and deductibles for those with employer-sponsored plans is outpacing median income, according to a new report. According to the Commonwealth Fund report, premiums and deductibles in 2018 were 10% or more of the median income for workers in 42 states, including Ohio. A decade before, that was only true in seven states. The report analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau and a federal insurance questionnaire. Read More


White House finalizes hospital transparency rule

Hospitals will soon have to share price information they have long kept obscured — including how big a discount they offer cash-paying patients and rates negotiated with insurers — under a rule finalized Friday by the Trump administration. The hospital rule is slated to go into effect in January 2021. Read More


HPIO releases Ohio Addiction Policy Inventory and Scorecard

The Health Policy Institute of Ohio has released the third in a series of inventories and scorecards analyzing Ohio's policy response to the addiction crisis and outlining areas where the state could be more effective. The new report, "Ohio Addiction Policy Inventory and Scorecard: Law Enforcement and the Criminal Justice System," provides policymakers and other stakeholders with the information needed to take stock of Ohio's policy response to addiction within the law enforcement and criminal justice sectors. Read More


OPPA and APA urge action to end disparities in mental health coverage

People seeking treatment for mental illness and substance use disorders continue to pay more and face more barriers to accessing care than those seeking care for physical illness, according to a report released today from Milliman, Inc., and the disparity has worsened over the past two years. Read More


Call for research papers, posters and student attendance at OPPA 2020 meeting


Webinar: How can boarding of psychiatric patients be reduced?

Advance registration required for this free event

The American Psychiatric Association is joining the American College of Emergency Physicians and Coalition on Psychiatric Emergencies to host a webinar on mitigating the problem of emergency department boarding of psychiatric patients based on APA's resource document on the issue. The webinar will be held Wednesday, December 11, from 3 p.m-4 p.m. EST. Read More


Suicides across Ohio have climbed 45% since 2007

According to a recent report by the Ohio Department of Health, between 2007 and 2018, suicide deaths increased 45% among all age groups and by 56% among youths ages 10 to 24, according to state health officials. Over the past dozen years, 18,391 Ohioans have died by suicide. The most common method of suicide is firearms, followed by hanging and drug overdose, the report said. Read More


Important survey on prior authorization

The Ohio Psychiatric Physicians Association, in partnership with the Ohio State Medical Association and the rest of the House of Medicine, requests input from medical practices across Ohio regarding prior authorization. The goal of this survey is to assess experiences with payers since the passage of Senate Bill 129, legislation aimed at improving and streamlining the prior authorization process. Read More


1 is too many - assistance to vets to bring the number of suicides to zero

AMVETS Department of Ohio is committed to bring the number of veteran suicides down to zero by addressing the underlying issues that cause it. 1 Is Too Many will be working with at risk veterans who are dealing with issues like opioid/drug abuse, PTSD, other mental health conditions, financial issues, legal issues, convictions and more.​ For help, call the ‘1 Is Too Many’ crisis line for veterans at 1-800-OH-AMVET or 1-800-642-6838. Read More


ASAM releases new definition of addiction

The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) – the nation’s largest organization representing medical professionals who specialize in addiction prevention and treatment – has updated the society’s definition of addiction to explain more fully the complexity of this chronic disease. Read More


National opioid settlement begins to take shape

As a critical trial deadline bears down, lawyers for states and the three largest drug distributors in the country, along with two manufacturers, have agreed on a framework for a deal to resolve thousands of opioid cases with a settlement worth nearly $50 billion in cash and addiction treatments. Read More


Governor DeWine unveils the STRONG Ohio bill

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine unveiled a series of legislative proposals to better protect Ohio citizens and law enforcement officers from those with a propensity toward violence and to provide help to individuals who are a danger to themselves or others. The STRONG Ohio bill, which is sponsored by Senator Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls) and is part of Governor DeWine’s broader STRONG Ohio violence prevention plan, will preserve constitutional rights, expand treatment options, and prevent violence. Read More


TAC's first national AOT symposium celebrates a first-of-its-kind AOT white paper

The Treatment Advocacy Center gathered nearly 300 advocates, judges, treatment providers and consumers in Columbus, Ohio, this week for the first national AOT Symposium. The symposium also celebrated the release of a first-of-its-kind AOT white paper. Produced in coordination with the American Psychiatric Association and Northeast Ohio Medical University experts Mark Munetz, MD (an OPPA past-president) and Deb Hrouda, PhD, the white paper sets forth essential elements of an AOT program and provides 10 building blocks for establishing and maintaining a new AOT program. Read More


6th Annual Current Concepts in Integrated Healthcare

Summa Health Center is hosting the 6th Annual Concepts in Integrated Healthcare on Sat., Nov. 9, from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Topics include: Treating Adult ADHD with Co-Occuring Substance Use Disorders, Controversies in Addiction Medicine, Waiting for the Last Breath and more. Read More


Governor DeWine announces programs to prevent custody relinquishment, modernize systems of care for multi-system youth

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine recently announced that the Ohio Departments of Medicaid and Job and Family Services will issue $31 million in new funding to support youth and families served by multiple systems. In addition to providing direct support to children and families, these funds will also help to modernize Ohio’s 88 county Family and Children First Councils, which coordinate care for children served by multiple systems. Read More


Federal watchdog finds that CMS quality measures need improvement

A new federal study has found quality measures adopted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services may not be accurate indicators of actual care that patients receive (Source: “Medicare quality measures need improvement, says government watchdog,” Modern Healthcare, Sept. 20, 2019). Read More


The 2019 State Health Assessment by ODH is now available

The 2019 State Health Assessment (SHA) is a comprehensive look at the health status of Ohio's residents and includes a summary report of key health factors across the state prepared by the Health Policy Institute of Ohio (HPIO). This year, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) has also added an interactive website to make data more easily accessible for local partners.


ODI appeal process recovers millions on health insurance claims

More than $21 million in previously denied health care benefits and services to Ohioans has been recovered through an appeals process started by the Ohio Department of Insurance (ODI) nearly two decades ago.


CDC awards Ohio $56 million to address drug addiction crisis

On September 4, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that Ohio will get $55.8 million in grants to fight the drug epidemic – part of $1.8 billion that the Centers for Disease Control and the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration awarded across the nation.


ODH reports that Ohio overdose death rates dropped 22% in 2018

Fatal drug overdoses dropped more than 22% in Ohio last year, the first decline since 2009 and a sign that the state may be turning the corner on the decade-old drug epidemic. County coroners reported 3,764 accidental drug deaths in 2018, 1,090 fewer than the previous year’s record high of 4,854, according to preliminary data on unintentional drug deaths reported to the Ohio Department of Health (ODH).


MHA Franklin County 2019 Children’s Mental Health Conference – Oct. 2

Mental Health America of Franklin County will host its 2019 Children’s Mental Health Conference, “Working with Youth and Young Adults Who Experience Bipolar Disorder or Psychosis,” on Oct. 2 in Columbus.


First responders get help after Dayton's Oregon District shooting

The Dayton Daily News reports "It took Dayton police just 32 seconds to stop the mass shooter who opened fire in the Oregon District. Sixteen days later, mental health experts continue to give the officers and other city workers who rushed to the scene the help they need now." Read More


MHA Back to School Toolkit - available Aug. 23

Mental Health America is gearing up to release its 2019 Back to School Toolkit (available Aug. 23) which provides information and resources for adults and young people about the issues of stress and loneliness, which may lead to symptoms of mental health conditions if not addressed early. Read More


Call to Action: Contact Ohio House members - ask them to NOT cosponsor Rep. Manning's psychologists prescribing bill

State Representative Don Manning (R-Mahoning) recently sent an email request to all members of the Ohio House of Representatives urging them to sign on as a cosponsor of legislation he plans to introduce that would allow certain psychologists to prescribe medications (without appropriate medical training) to Ohioans who have a mental illness and/or substance use disorder. Contact your representatives and urge them to not cosponsor this legislation. Read More


Health Affairs Events: Telehealth

The December 2018 issue of Health Affairs is dedicated to Telehealth, a broad range of technologies used to connect clinicians to each other and to their patients. Distinguished authors examine the broad reach of Telehealth and also highlight significant areas of unrealized potential. Read More


DeWine announces plans for development of Ohio school safety center to help prevent school violence

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced that he issued an executive order creating a specialized division of Ohio Homeland Security (OHS) devoted exclusively to the safety of Ohio’s students and schools. Read More


National Recovery Month Toolkit

This September will mark the 30th anniversary of National Recovery Month to help increase awareness and understanding of mental and substance use disorders, and to celebrate persons in recovery. This year’s theme is Join the Voices for Recovery: Together We Are Stronger. Read More


Dayton shooting stirs gun debate

Following the tragic incidents in Dayton’s Oregon District, Governor DeWine introduced several proposals to curb gun violence and broaden access to mental health services. State legislators have also introduced a series of firearm bills in the following weeks. Read More


OPPA signs on to support Governor DeWine's plan to reduce the likelihood of another tragic loss of Ohioans

The OPPA, along with other members of the Coalition for Healthy Communities sends letter to Senate President Obhof and Speaker Householder urging them upon returning to session in September, to make Governor DeWine's proposal to reduce the likelihood of another tragic loss of Ohioans its first order of business. Read More


OPPA convinces committee to drop their support for approving marijuana to treat autism and anxiety

OPPA expressed its opposition to the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Committee in writing and during expert testimony provided by OPPA Secretary, Tina Weston, MD. The decision to add autism and anxiety to the list of 21 medical conditions for treatment with medical marijuana has gone on for almost a year, when the committee voted last fall to recommend the SMBO approve marijuana to treat these two conditions. Read More


Mass Violence in America: Causes, Impact and Solutions

National Council for Behavioral Health

“What’s happening in our society is not a mental illness, it’s a social illness. Hate and anger are not mental illnesses.” – Dr. Joe Parks, Medical Director of the National Council and Co-Chair of the Medical Director Institute on the findings of a comprehensive report released last week, Mass Violence in America: Causes, Impacts and Solutions. The report examines the reasons, contributing factors and actionable solutions surrounding mass violence through the lens of behavioral health. Read More


Study: Ohioans lost 500,000 years of life due to gun deaths in last decade

A new Ohio study found that nearly 500,000 years of life have been lost over the past decade from firearm fatalities (Source: “Half-A-Million Years of Ohioans’ Life Expectancy Lost to Gun Deaths,” The Columbus Dispatch, August 9, 2019). Read More


Beware of scam targeting prescribers licensed in Ohio

OPPA members should be on alert for a scam that has been targeting Ohio healthcare licensees. Scammers have been calling prescribers and pharmacists saying they are being investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and their DEA registration will be revoked or they will be arrested if they do not agree to pay a fine immediately via phone or fax. Read More


Are video games or mental illness causing America's mass shootings?

No, research shows

In addition to mental illness, research has long debunked another common explanation among politicians: that violent video games are driving the mass shooting crisis. The idea was floated again by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Trump, who talked of restricting “gruesome and grisly video games. There is, however, no statistical link between playing violent video games and shooting people, said Jonathan Metzl, director of the Center for Medicine, Health and Society at Vanderbilt University. Read More


APA joins call to action to prevent firearm-related injury and death

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) today joined six other physician and health professional organizations in calling for action to address the public health epidemic of firearm-related injury and death. In 2017, nearly 40,000 people died as a result of a firearm, a 20-year high, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Read More


Ohio Medicaid gets $100 million budget increase to address mental health and addiction

The Ohio Department of Medicaid is receiving $100 million to increase payments to mental health and addiction recovery providers, who say they have been financially struggling under changes made in recent years (Source: “Ohio Medicaid gets $100 million with aim to improve mental health care,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, Aug. 2, 2019). Read More


OPPA launches new web page for disaster and traumatic event information

Disasters and traumatic events, like the mass shooting in Dayton Ohio on August 4, 2019, can have tremendous psychological impacts on individuals, even if they are not directly involved. People can experience a range of emotions, including anger, frustration and sadness, and can react in many different ways, including physical and psychological symptoms. Check out information by the OPPA/APA. Read More


OhioMHAS has launched a new

*NEW* OhioMHAS has launched a new “After a Disaster” web page ( that pools together helpful resources for communities and individuals experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters. Please bookmark and share this resource widely. Read More


Governor DeWine announces proposals to reduce gun violence, increase MH prevention and treatment

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has announced a series of legislative reforms to address gun violence and outlined further action to increase mental health prevention, identification, and treatment to better protect Ohioans. “Gun violence doesn’t just take the form of mass shootings, people are victims every day in Ohio and across the country,” said Governor DeWine. Let us know what you think of the proposals. Read More


One-bite program, a confidential monitoring program, is now available for Medical Board licensees

Through the combined efforts of the Ohio Psychiatric Physicians Association, Ohio State Medical Association, Ohio Physicians Health Program (OPHP) and other medical groups, licensees can now seek treatment for a substance use disorder without disclosing information to the Medical Board unless certain conditions exist. Read More


Please step up to serve your association

Nominations are now open for OPPA's 2020 election for the offices of president-elect, secretary and APA Rep. Submit recommendations to


OPPA expresses condolences to all affected by the mass shooting in Dayton

Disaster resources are available

The Ohio Psychiatric Physicians Association expresses its condolences and concern to those affected by the tragic mass shootings in downtown Dayton. As the potential mental health impact of this situation increases for our local communities, the OPPA offers tips and resources on how to minimize possible mental and emotional effects of trauma caused by the shootings. Read More


FCC to prioritize telemedicine funding based on

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is moving forward with plans to reform how funding is distributed for the agency's rural telemedicine program. The FCC voted to adopt a report and order for its Rural Health Care Program, which helps fund broadband and telecommunications services for some health care providers in rural areas. A major part of the program involves subsidizing the difference between urban and rural rates for telecommunications services. Read More


Report: Overdose death rates now highest in urban areas

U.S. drug overdose deaths, which have been concentrated in Appalachia and other rural areas for more than a dozen years, are back to being most common in big cities, according to a government report issued Friday. The report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the urban overdose death rate surpassed the rural rate in 2016 and 2017. Rates for last year and this year are not yet available. But experts, citing available data, say the urban rate is likely to stay higher in the near future. Read More


ODM BH rate increases and policy updates

The Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) behavioral health (BH) policy changes and payment rate adjustments went into effect on August 1, 2019. These changes are intended to help stabilize the provider network and support continued access to Ohioans in need of addiction and mental health treatment. Read More


OARRS use by physicians and pharmacists in Ohio hits record level

White House Office of National Drug Control Policy Praises Gov. DeWine’s RecoveryOhio Initiative

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy Executive Director Steven Schierholt were joined today by U.S. Drug Czar Jim Carroll, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, to announce that use of the Ohio Automated Rx Reporting System (OARRS) system used to track prescriptions of controlled medications recently surpassed 1 million daily queries. Read More


New CME module on Engagement Interview Protocol (EIP)

When suffering illnesses, people from different cultural backgrounds usually have their own illness beliefs, the understanding of the meanings of their symptoms based on their cultures and traditions. Due to differences in cultural and educational backgrounds, patients and their providers frequently have different views about an illness. Read More


APA FREE course of the month - August 2019

Being a Good Partner to Law Enforcement: Strategies for Crisis Providers

In addition to Crisis Intervention Training (CIT), this course describes strategies for mental health providers and law enforcement to collaborate on innovative interventions at other points along the crisis continuum, while balancing the interests of compassionate mental healthcare and public safety. Read More


OPPA members' study published in Academic Psychiatry

Congratulations Dr. Levy and all who were involved!

Characteristics Associated with Depression and Suicidal Thoughts Among Medical Residents: Results from the DEPRESS-Ohio Study has been published in Academic Psychiatry. The study, spear headed by former president, Alan Levy, MD, who served as lead investigator, was developed and conducted by members of the OPPA's Depression in Medical Trainees Committee. Read More


Experts argue for addition of suicide-specific diagnoses in DSM

From the American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting, held in May, an internationally renowned expert in suicide says that the existence of a suicide-specific diagnosis would compel health systems to create tools to determine the suicide risk of individuals. Read More


In case you didn't know: Pharmacists can dispense multiple simultaneous Rx refills without calling the prescriber

In 2017, there was a change in the Ohio Revised Code that authorizes a pharmacist who is filling or refilling a prescription that has one or more refills to dispense the drug in a quantity or amount that varies from the quantity or amount that would otherwise be dispensed. This authority is contingent on meeting conditions specified in the law and can be overridden by physicians stating on the Rx specified that the quantity or amount to be dispensed may not vary from the quantity or amount specified in the prescription. The OPPA would like to hear from members. Read More


In case you missed it: Mark Hurst, MD appointed as Medical Director of Ohio Department of Health

Mark Hurst, MD, who previously served as director and medical director of the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OMHAS) was appointed as Medical Director of the Department of Health on June 13. The OPPA thanks Dr. Hurst for his many years of service with the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OHMAS) and looks forward to continuing to work him in his new position with the Ohio Department of Health. Read More


More than half of people who misuse prescription opioids also binge drink

More than half of the 4.2 million Americans who misused prescription opioids between 2012 and 2014 also engaged in binge drinking, according to a new study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Read More


Only half of Ohioans eligible for medical marijuana have bought drug

More than 42,000 people can legally buy medical marijuana in Ohio with a doctor’s recommendation, however, according to state records, only about half of them have. When asked why they haven’t bought any medicinal cannabis, patients cited a common reason: cost. Read More


Ohio House and Senate unable to reach a deal before Sunday deadline

First time since 2009

Not being able to reach a compromise, Ohio lawmakers failed to pass a state budget agreement by the June 30 deadline. As a result, both chambers passed a temporary budget extension of 17 days to keep the government running, which was signed by Governor DeWine.


Letter to the editor corrects false information about Ohio's SMI exemption from the death penalty

A letter to the editor, written by OPPA President-Elect Megan Testa, MD and Retired Supreme Court Justice Evelyn Stratton was published in the paper and online in response to of the Tribune Chronicle's in response to an editorial with false information about companion bills in the Ohio House and Senate that would remove the death penalty sentencing option for individuals, who at the time of the crime, were diagnosed with a severe mental illness and diminished capacity. Read More


New Fact Sheet on Queer Populations Now Available

APA’s Division of Diversity and Health Equity has published a mental health fact sheet on queer populations. The fact sheet covers information on demographics, terms , trends in mental health care, FAQs, and tips to communicate with patients. Read More


APA FREE course of the month - July 2019

Computer Decision Support System for First-Episode Psychosis Pharmacotherapy

Coordinated Specialty Care (CSC) is a team-based, multi-element treatment for first episode psychosis (FEP) that integrates medical, psychosocial, and rehabilitative interventions in a recovery-oriented, collaborative approach to care. Read More


Unique immersion program allows policymakers to become medical students

Leaders at The Ohio State University College of Medicine and The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center are helping elected officials, policymakers and other community leaders gain new perspectives on what it takes to become a doctor or medical researcher — and how training provided by state-funded academic medical centers directly impacts the health and well-being of Ohio residents. Read More


APA begins work on DSM-5-TR

Now six years since the publication of DSM-5, APA has begun work on a text revision, DSM-5-TR. The goal is to ensure that the text in DSM-5 is accurate and up to date and thus continues to be useful for clinical, educational, research, and forensic purposes. Read More


NCBH develops guide and recommends LAMs as first time treatment option

The National Council for Behavioral Health's (NCBH) Guide to Long-acting Medications (LAM) is a call to Action for psychiatrists and other clinicians and behavioral health organizations to increase the use of long-acting medications and recommends LAMs be considered as first-time treatment option. Read More


Long-acting antipsychotics help cut risk for arrest in patients with schizophrenia

News from the American Psychiatric Association

After initiation of treatment with long-acting injectable antipsychotics, the incidence of arrest decreased among patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder and a previous history of arrest during a 2-year follow-up period at a community mental health center, according to a poster presented at APA annual meeting. Read More


OhioMHAS offers more buprenorphine waiver trainings

The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services continues waiver trainings for medical providers. These trainings are 1.5 days and have been approved for CMEs. Food will be provided at no cost. Participants will receive a course manual and a $1,300 stipend for providers who obtain their waiver within 100 days post training. Read More


Report recommends local strategies to address addiction crisis in Appalachian counties

The National Association of Counties (NACo) and the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) released the report, “Opioids in Appalachia: The Role of Counties in Reversing a Regional Epidemic,” in an effort to combat the opioid epidemic that has plagued Ohio and other states in the region. Read More


Medical board rejects medical marijuana as treatment for opioid addiction

On June 12, citing a lack of scientific proof, the State Medical Board of Ohio voted against allowing physicians to recommend marijuana to treat opioid use disorder. Read More


Ohio Medicaid seeks public input on how Medicaid managed care can work better

Responses will be accepted through July 31, 2019

One June 13, 2019, the Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) released a request for information (RFI) to gather public inputas ODM begins the process to select new managed care partners. ODM’s first step in the process is collecting feedback on current Medicaid services, what is working and ideas for improvement. OPPA members are encouraged to respond to the RFI as soon as possible, prior to July 31, 2019. Read More


Circumstances under which pharmacists can dispense naltrexone

Senate Bill 119 of the 132nd General Assembly, also known as Daniel’s Law, made changes to Ohio law authorizing a pharmacist, under certain conditions, to dispense naltrexone without a prescription. Read More


Save the date for OPPA 2020 Psychiatric Update - March 14-15

The OPPA will once again hold its 2020 meeting at the Marriott University in Columbus, OH on March 14-15, 2019. This will be the 70th Anniversary of the OPPA and it is sure to have something for everyone. More details to come, however, hold the date now on your calendar so you can join us!


Legislators asked to spare those with an SMI from the death penalty

Progress is made in both the House and Senate to pass the legislation

Ohio House Bill 136, which would spare an individual diagnosed with a severe mental illness, as defined in the bill, would be exempt from the death penalty passed by the House last week and will now go on to the Senate. At the same time, Senate Bill 54, companion legislation, held its second hearing this week for proponent testimony. Read More


Ohio Legislative Mental Health Caucus meets

Members of the Mental Health Caucus convened for a breakfast gathering on June 5 at the Statehouse. The event was well attended with nearly 50 participants. Convening the Mental Health Caucus provides another opportunity to discuss the importance of mental health public policy and funding in the budget, as well as pending legislation, and behavioral health redesign. Read More


OPWC launches FREE online courses on improving physician well-being

The Ohio Physician Wellness Coalition (OPWC), which represents Ohio physicians and hospitals and focuses on addressing physician burnout, launched six videos in its continuing medical education (CME) wellness video series. Read More


APA FREE course of the month - June 2019

Culturally Sensitive Clinical Care of Older LGBTQ Adults

The population of the United States is aging and growing increasingly diverse, creating a demographic imperative to address diversity among older adults. Diversity encompasses ethnicity, cultural background, gender, sexual orientation, sexual identity, and immigration status. Read More


J-1 Visa Waiver Program - third application cycle open until June 30, 2019

The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) participates in the State 30 Program to increase access to health care services for Ohio’s underserved populations. J-1 visa waivers allow foreign medical graduates to remain in the United States after completing residency/fellowship training in exchange for a three-year commitment to provide health care services in underserved areas. Read More


More buprenorphine MAT training opportunities offered by OhioMHAS

The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) is continuing to offer buprenorphine Medication Assisted Treatment trainings for medical providers. These trainings are 1.5 days and offer CMEs, free food, a course manual and a $1,300 stipend for providers who obtain their waiver within 100 days post training. Read More


New APA child and adolescent telepsychiatry toolkit

This APA toolkit, developed in partnership with the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, features a 19-video series from leading child and adolescent psychiatrists about issues unique to practicing telepsychiatry with youth. It covers topics such as how to set up a virtual telepsychiatry space, legal/ regulatory issues, reimbursement, and working in special environments like the juvenile justice system. Read More


CMS retreats on Medicare Part D protected classes change

In case you missed it, the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) decided against limiting coverage in the Six Protected Classes of medicines in Part D, which include: antidepressants, anti-psychotics, anticonvulsants, immunosupressants for transplant rejection, antiretrovials and cancer drugs. Read More


OPPA submits testimony on ODM's Proposed Telehealth Rule

Steve Jewell, MD, provided written testimony on behalf of the Ohio Psychiatric Physicians Association to the Ohio Department of Medicaid during a public hearing held May 20, 2019 on Proposed Telehealth Rule 5160-1-18. Dr. Jewell expressed concerns about case managers not being included in the draft as well as language that restricted evaluation and management billing codes. Read More


Pursuit of Parity: Where Ohio stands on insurance coverage of mental illness and substance use disorders

Analysis by the Center for Community Solutions

A recent analysis by the Center for Community Solutions, despite mental health parity laws that were passed more than a decade ago, patients/consumers have very little awareness of their insurance coverage rights for mental health and substance use disorder treatment. Further, Ohio patients in need of behavioral health services are up to five times more likely to have to go out of network for treatment than patients in need of medical or surgical care. Read More


"As Suicides Rise, Insurers Find Ways to Deny Mental Health Coverage"

Bloomberg Businessweek, May 16

The U.S. is in the midst of a mental health crisis. In 2017, 47,000 Americans died by suicide and 70,000 from drug overdoses. And 17.3 million adults suffered at least one major depressive episode. Yet, insurers are still not being held accountable for complying with mental health parity laws. Read More


BH Redesign next steps: providers and managed care plans

Medicaid Advanced Payment Agreements and the initiation of repayment

The Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) and the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) continue to evaluate the early effects of Behavioral Health (BH) Redesign and BH Integration into managed care on the comprehensive behavioral health system. As part of these efforts, a contingency plan was developed with the Medicaid managed care plans (MCPs) to assist with cash flow to community behavioral health centers (PT84s/PT95s) in the transition to managed care billing through BH Integration. Read More


OPPA provides MH resources for those impacted by the deadly storms in Ohio

Press Release

As the potential mental health impact of this tragedy increases for our local communities, the OPPA offers tips and resources on how to minimize possible mental and emotional effects of trauma caused by the storms. This tragedy can have a tremendous psychological impact on all those directly and indirectly affected. Read More


New study aims to reduce overdoses in Ohio

“Community healing” is moving from trite sentiment to executable action item under a new federally-funded study. The aptly named HEALing Communities study is backed by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Read More


OPPA officers begin their terms for 2019-2020

At the conclusion of today's American Psychiatric Association's Annual Meeting, new officers for the OPPA begin their 2019-2020 terms: President - Victoria Kelly, MD (Toledo); President-Elect - Megan Testa, MD; Treasurer - Molly McVoy, MD (Cleveland); Secretary - Christina Westan, MD (Dayton); and Immediate Past President - William (Bill) Resch, DO (Columbus). Read More


The use of MAT between white patients and black patients

HPIO releases Ohio Addiction Policy Inventory and Scorecard: Prevention, Treatment and Recovery

In case you missed it, as national drug overdose rates climbed in recent years, white patients were given more prescriptions for medication-assisted treatment. There was no such increase for African Americans, according to a new national study (Source: “Addiction Medicine Mostly Prescribed to Whites, Even As Opioid Deaths Rose among Blacks,” Kaiser Health News, May 8, 2019). Read More


AMA prior authorization survey - impact on patients (findings from 2018)

In case you missed it, the AMA conducted a survey of 1,000 practicing physicians (40% primary care and 60% specialists) asking for feedback on prior authorizations and its impact on patients. Read More


APA recently added new information to its telepsychiatry resource page

New resources include: APA Launches New Child & Adolescent Telepsychiatry Toolkit; Meet Members of the APA's Committee on Telepsychiatry; How to Evaluate Telepsychiatry Job Opportunities and APA and ATA Release Telemental Health Guide.


The Mindful Healthcare Summit - May 23-27, 2019

A free online event through a partnership with OPWC

The Ohio Physician Wellness Coalition (of which OPPA is a member) is pleased to announce its partnership with The Awake Network’s Mindful Healthcare Summit. This is a free online event for medical professionals, students, and administrators examining how mindfulness and compassion practices can help address the complex issues of chronic stress, and overwork, and the epidemic of burnout among health care professionals. Read More


CPT Coding, Documentation and Billing for Psychiatry workshop - June 20, Columbus

The OPPA will be hosting a day-long coding workshop in Columbus, designed for psychiatrists and their new or experienced billing and coding staff and all other mental health professionals who want to stay current with new information, rules and policies that impact billing for mental health services. Read More


DEA-X Waiver Trainings

The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services has added additional DEA-X waiver trainings. This free, 1.5 day training is open to all physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants who hold an Ohio license and a current DEA number. Residents, PA and NPA students may also attend the training. Physicians who attend the training, obtain their waiver, and fulfill reimbursement criteria will receive $1,300. Read More


APA FREE course of the month - April 2019

Complementary and Integrative Approaches to Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are common and complex neurodevelopmental disorders which may present at different stages with different target symptoms. This course discusses how families often utilize complementary and integrative treatments for ASD, the evidence for such use, and risks and benefits of these treatments.


APA FREE course of the month - May 2019

Identifying and Engaging Youth with Early Psychosis Utilizing Internet and Social Media Platf

Coordinated Specialty Care (CSC) is a team-based, multi-element treatment for first episode psychosis (FEP) that integrates medical, psychosocial, and rehabilitative interventions in a recovery-oriented, collaborative approach to care. Read More


APRN independent practice bill (HB 177) had opposition testimony on Wed., May 14

Opponents of House Bill 177, a bill to give advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) independent practice authority will have the opportunity to testify before members of the Ohio House Health Committee Wednesday, May 14. Please contact your legislators and let them know how you feel about the bill. Let your voice be heard; we know APRNs are contacting legislators, we have share our concerns about patient safety and the team-based approach to care. Read More


HPIO releases 2019 Ohio Medicaid Basics

Medicaid pays for healthcare services for about three million Ohioans with low incomes, including more than 1.2 million children. Medicaid spending accounts for more than one-third of Ohio’s budget and almost 17% of health expenditures nationally. Read More


J-1 Visa Waiver Program - third application cycle open until June 30, 2019

The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) participates in the State 30 Program to increase access to health care services for Ohio’s underserved populations. J-1 visa waivers allow foreign medical graduates to remain in the United States after completing residency/fellowship training in exchange for a three-year commitment to provide health care services in underserved areas. Read More


New Medication-Assisted Treatment Rules effective April 30

The State Medical Board of Ohio has rescinded current office-based opioid treatment rules and has issued new medication-assisted treatment rules which will be effective on Tuesday, April 30:


APA to sponsor Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Train the Trainer (TTT) Program

The Buprenorphine and MAT TTT Program, hosted in partnership by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and Providers Clinical Support System (PCSS), is a two-day program hosted in Washington, DC that offers an in-depth training to DEA-X waivered psychiatrists who are currently prescribing buprenorphine to patients and are interested in serving as a regional buprenorphine trainer.

Psychiatric News