Latest News

9-12-18 Article in LVRJ: Nevada drops plan for extra Medicaid paperwork for mental health care

Nevada Drops Plan for Extra Medicaid Paperwork for Mental Health Care

By Jessie Bekker / Las Vegas Review-Journal
September 11, 2018 – 4:45 pm

Policy on prior authorization will be rescinded

About Medicaid

Nevada Medicaid covers nearly 660,000 low-income Nevadans, over one quarter of whom are on fee-for-service Medicaid — the type impacted by the prior authorization rule.

The program doubled in size when Nevada expanded its Medicaid program in 2014, putting a strain on available services in a state that already ranks near the bottom in health care nationwide. Nevada is last for access to mental health care, according to Mental Health America.

Clink link below to read entire article

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Tell your Representative to vote “No” on H.R. 3798

Late this week, the House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on H.R. 3798 – a bill that threatens to eliminate employer-based health insurance coverage provided to millions of Americans under the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”).

One of the main provisions in the bill would decrease the number of employers required to offer health coverage to employees under the ACA’s employer mandate, in part by defining a “full-time employee” as someone working 40, rather than 30, hours a week. The bill would also retroactively halt penalties on large employers that failed to offer comprehensive, affordable coverage to employees during the past 4 years. These changes would undermine critical ACA protections that ensure businesses provide health insurance to their employees and could result in a loss of coverage for many Americans.

H.R. 3798 is another attempt in the ongoing campaign to weaken the ACA and destabilize health insurance markets. Based on a previous estimate from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (“CBO”), these changes to the mandate would leave as many as 1 million people without employer-sponsored coverage that they currently rely on. As a result, between 500,000 and 1 million people would have to seek coverage through Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (“CHIP”), or health insurance exchanges, and the number of insured would increase by as many as 500,000.

Please, click here, to tell your Representatives to vote “No” on any H.R. 3798.

For more information, contact APA Practice Organization Government Relations Office at Pracgovt@apa.org or (202) 336-5889.  Visit APA Practice Organization on-line at APAPracticeCentral.org/Advocacy.

9-11-18 Update on Medicaid PAR Status and today's Public Workshop

Hi all,

The outcome of today’s DHCFP Public Workshop represents a significant “win” for behavioral health in Nevada.  Essentially, the division has reversed it’s previous decision to significantly limit the number of therapy sessions allowed without a prior authorization.  
As a reminder, in June the division announced that all psychotherapy and neurotherapy services for NV Medicaid patients would require prior authorization as of July.  Following significant push back from providers….
Click link below for full update
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8.14.18 Medicaid Changes in Mental Health

Vegas PBS NEVADA WEEK SEASON 1: EPISODE 7 | Aired: 08/14/18

Nevada ranks 51st in mental health care, and Medicaid is the single largest payer for mental health services in the United States. This week, we will examine recent changes made to the Medicaid approval process and what that means to patients in our state.

Click link below to watch full episode

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8.14.18 Concerns remain despite Nevada easing Medicaid mental health rule

Article in Las Vegas Review Journal

State Medicaid officials said Tuesday they will ease restrictions on payments for mental health services in the face of widespread concerns about the impact the new rule would have on some of Nevada’s most vulnerable residents.

But critics of the “very restrictive” new policy aimed at curbing Medicaid fraud say it still could delay or deny care to low-income Nevadans in their time of greatest need.

Fee-for-service Medicaid providers….

Click link below to view entire article

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8.14.18 Nevada Medicaid approves policy requiring prior approval after 5 sessions

Article in the Nevada Independent

Nevada Medicaid approved a requirement that therapists receive prior approval before providing more than five therapy sessions to a patient at a meeting on Tuesday after nearly two hours of public comment from therapists, patients and mental health advocates expressing their concerns about the proposed change.

The new policy, which takes effect on Oct. 1, will require psychologists, therapists and other mental health providers to……

Click link below to view entire article

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8.1.18 NV Medicaid Shift Could Impact Continuity of Mental Health Care

Article in Las Vegas Review Journal

When Carrie and Jeffrey Olsen took in their year-and-a-half-old foster child, Daemion, they knew that he would need a lifetime of guidance.

“He’s got a lot of emotional issues,” Carrie Olsen said of her now-9-year-old son. “There’s been lots of doctors, there’s been lots of tests, there’s been lots of trying to figure it out.”

Daemion has made advances after three years of therapy with a licensed clinical social worker paid for by Medicaid.

But now his mom fears that a change in the mostly federally funded, state-administered program threatens to undo that progress.

The state agency that administers Medicaid announced this summer that it would soon limit patients to three therapy sessions before requiring them to obtain pre-approval for continuing treatment.

Click link below to view entire article

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7.31.18 Mental Health Providers concerned about proposed limits on therapy sessions for MCD patients

Article in The Nevada Independent

Nevada Medicaid will decide next month whether to impose additional requirement for patients to undergo therapy on an ongoing basis, a move the state says will increase accountability and ensure people are getting the care they actually need but that mental health providers across the state are decrying as yet another barrier to access to mental health care for a vulnerable population……

Click link below to view entire article

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7.11.18 NPA Responds to Nevada Medicaid Prior Authorization Requirements for Psychotherapy Services

Please click link below to view press release on behalf of the NPA Executive Board, about recent Medicaid changes requiring PARs for all psychotherapy services.

Press Release

Press Release (Spanish)

The press release will be widely distributed and NPA Executive Board will be reaching out to media, legislators, and other community stakeholders in support.

In efforts to have our voices heard about the significant negative impact the new PAR policy will have on our field, for both providers and clients, NPA would like to strongly encourage our members to attend the following meeting to testify on this issue:

Interim Legislative Committee on Healthcare
Date/Time: Tuesday, July 17th @ 9:00am
Location: Grant Sawyer Building, Room 4401
Address: 555 E. Washington Ave #5100, Las Vegas NV  89101

Additionally, on behalf of NPA, letters (outlining the areas covered in this press release) were sent directly to Marta Jensen, Administrator, and Shannon Sprout, Deputy Administrator, of DHCFP regarding our concerns with the new requirement. Ms. Sprout acknowledged receipt of the letter and noted it was added to their records and shared with relevant staff from their Division.

We encourage members to send personal letters/emails to them as well, so that your concerns can be added to the record:
Marta Jensen
Shannon Sprout

We will continue to monitor and keep our members updated on how things progress.

Thank you,

Sarah Ahmad, Psy.D.
NPA President 2018/2019

NPA Statement and Call to Action: Safety of our Migrating Children and Families

The Nevada Psychological Association Statement and Call to Action:
Safely of our Migrating Children and Families

 

English

Spanish

Nevada Psychologist supporting protection of testing data

As many of you have heard, Tom Kinsora, Ph.D., is involved in a contentious battle with the District Attorney (DA). The DA wrote a court order stating, “The Court finds that the State is entitled to all testing data, including the tests themselves, and as such, Dr. Kinsora is directed to immediately provide that information to the State.”

Dr. Kinsora has consulted with ethics advisers and offered solutions to maintain test integrity while providing the DA with additional information. For example, he has offered to send the raw test data to a psychological expert or to review and explain it with the DA, provided test items are not recorded.

Our ethics are clear on this issue; compromised test security is a risk to the public and the profession. Dr. Kinsora has letters provided from the test publishers to support his resistance to the court order. He needs the backing of our professional community as well. Given that Dr. Kinsora has not complied with the court order, the DA has filed a motion to find him in contempt of the court. Currently, his hearing is set for Tuesday, June 19 at 9:00am at the Regional Justice Center, Department IX (Judge Togliotti; 200 Lewis Ave, Las Vegas, NV. 89155).

NPA would like to encourage your attendance at this hearing as well as you adding your name in support of this petition. The outcome of this matter affects all psychologists as an infringement on our professional ethics.

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For Immediate Release: NPA Responds to Nevada Medicaid Reimbursement Rate Changes and Recoupment Efforts

LAS VEGAS, NV – The Nevada Psychological Association has issued a public statement regarding Nevada Medicaid reimbursement rate changes and recent efforts by Nevada Medicaid and Nevada Department of Health and Human Services to recoup previously paid funds for psychological services during the 2017 calendar year. Click on link below to read in its entirety

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Practice Update: Psychology Leaders Complete 300 visits to members of Congress in one day

March 22, 2018

Practitioners ask legislators to sign onto Medicare “physician definition” bill

Click below to read more….

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CMS releases final rules on the 2018 Medicare Fee Schedule and 2018 Quality Payment Program

On November 2, 2017 the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released two final rules that explain in detail key changes impacting healthcare providers in 2018. Many psychologists will benefit from the changes CMS is adopting under the 2018 fee schedule and the 2018 Quality Payment Program.

Click link below for more details…

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ACTION ALERT: Congress moves to Conference on Tax Reform

Early Saturday morning the Senate voted to pass major tax reform legislation by a vote of 51-49.  Congress is now beginning conference committee work to resolve differences between the House and Senate versions, with a goal of passing a final version of the legislation within days.

The bills include provisions that APA and APAPO strongly oppose because of their adverse effect on both psychologists and consumer access to mental health and substance use treatment.  The Senate bill would repeal the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) individual mandate and cut Medicare spending by 4% each year for the next ten years, starting with a cut of roughly $25 billion in 2018.  The Congressional Budget Office projects that eliminating the ACA’s requirement that most individuals obtain health insurance would cause average premiums in the individual market to jump 10%, resulting in the loss of coverage for millions of Americans.  The cuts to Medicare are the results the bill’s increase to the federal deficit, which triggers automatic budget constraints established under the Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010 (PAYGO).

The House bill cuts several programs aiding psychologists in graduate school and others pursuing higher education, including the Student Loan Interest Deduction, which allows employers to offer employees up to $5,250 annually in tuition assistance; Qualified Tuition Reduction, which allows educational institutions to provide their employees, spouses or dependents with tuition reductions that are excluded from taxable income; and the Lifetime Learning Tax Credit.  These provisions would increase students costs by an estimated $71.5 billion over the next ten years.

Click attachment to access link – please tell your Members of Congress to reject any legislation that contains provisions that repeal the ACA’s individual mandate and eliminates critical higher education tax supports.

 

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Disaster Resources in aftermath of tragedy in Las Vegas

Please visit our Disaster Resources page for up to date information and resources

APA Offers Resources for Coping with Mass Shootings, Understanding Gun Violence

includes advice on how to talk to kids, calls for public health approach to gun problems

WASHINGTON — Constant news reports about the shooting in Las Vegas can cause stress and anxiety for people, leaving them with questions about the causes of and solutions to gun violence. Resources on the American Psychological Association’s website can help people with both issues.

One APA resource offers tips for managing feelings of distress in the aftermath of a shooting. “You may be struggling to understand how a shooting could occur and why such a terrible thing would happen. There may never be satisfactory answers to these questions,” it says. “Meanwhile, you may wonder how to go on living your daily life. You can strengthen your resilience — the ability to adapt well in the face of adversity — in the days and weeks ahead.”

Click link to read more…

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Responding to Hurricane Harvey

Information from APA’s Disaster Resource Network Program: Sept. 5, 2017

APA’s Disaster Resource Network (DRN) program is working directly with our contacts at the American Red Cross’ National Headquarters who are managing response procedures in Texas. Red Cross received an overwhelming response for disaster mental health volunteers in the past week – 5,000. They are processing volunteer applications as quickly as possible in the order of deployment availability. Please wait for the call from Red Cross for further direction. Should your dates of availability to deploy to Texas change, you can address that at the time Red Cross contacts you. Until Red Cross can work through the current queue of applicants, they have temporarily paused the acceptance of applications.

Red Cross is currently tracking Hurricane Irma. People who have already applied to support Hurricane Harvey operations, may be asked to deploy to Florida.

To volunteer in Texas, work through the Red Cross, volunteer from your home as a screener for Red Cross and for Resources for the Public, click on page link

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Info on Disaster Relief Network (DRN) to Hurricane Harvey

Information on how psychologists can volunteer for disaster relief operations is available on the APA website http://www.apa.org/practice/programs/drn/hurricane-harvey.aspx.

What some of our Disaster Resource Network (DRN) volunteers are doing

A number of our long-time DRN volunteers are serving as screeners for the Red Cross. (Details on screening available through the web page link above.) I am aware of one DRN volunteer who is headed to Texas today through the Red Cross. I expect to know more next week regarding how many more of our members are heading to Texas through the Red Cross.

Texas Licensure Decision

Many members have heard about the decision by the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists to suspended the aspect of their licensing rule that could delay access to mental health treatment for the areas affected by Hurricane Harvey. Effective immediately, individuals licensed to practice psychology in another jurisdiction may apply for an emergency temporary license from the Texas agency.

People still need to go through appropriate organizations set up for disaster relief to volunteer. Just because the Texas board made this decision doesn’t mean people should self-deploy to affected areas. There is an incident command structure in place that all response agencies follow. It’s important that psychologists and others interested in volunteering work within that system.

APA’s Disaster Resource program has worked with the American Red Cross for 25 years. Our contacts at Red Cross who are aware of this state licensure decision in Texas are also saying that people should not self-deploy, instead work through appropriate and official disaster response channels whether it’s Red Cross or another organization.

 

Luana Bossolo | Associate Executive Director, Communications
Practice Directorate | 202-336-5899 | lbossolo@apa.org

ACTION ALERT: ACA Repeal and Replace Bill Stalls in the Senate

On Monday two more Republican Senators came out against the ACA repeal and replace bill, the “Better Care Reconciliation Act” (BCRA). This new opposition effectively “kills” the bill, leaving it at least two votes short of the 50 votes needed for Senate passage. Thank you for all your efforts on the BCRA!  However, the saga over ACA repeal is not yet over…..
Click link to read more

Please click here tell your Senators to vote “No” on this repeal only bill, and any bill that reduces coverage. Congress should work in a bi-partisan manner to improve the ACA, not dismantle it.

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TRICARE Reimbursement Cuts: Information and Request for Feedback

APAPO Information Alert

After hearing from members who see TRICARE patients, APA Practice Organization staff spoke with Defense Health Agency (DHA) psychologists and sent the following letter on June 12th to the DHA Director regarding proposed reimbursement rate cuts by Humana and Health Net Federal Services (HNFS), the new contracted TRICARE mental health insurance carriers. APAPO has serious concerns about the impact these cuts will have on psychologists providing these services, network adequacy and access to mental health care for highly-stressed military families.

Click link below for a brief update about APAPO’s advocacy in addition to contact information to let them know about any TRICARE contractor issues you are experiencing….

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Urge Members of Congress to Co-Sponsor the Medicare Mental Health Access Act

Last month hundreds of psychologists took to Capitol Hill during the APA Practice Organization’s Practice Leadership Conference to urge their members of Congress to cosponsor professional psychology’s priority legislation, the Medicare Mental Health Access Act (H.R. 1173/S.448). We need your help contacting Congress to pass this bill!

H.R. 1173 and S. 448 would allow psychologists to provide Medicare services to patients without unnecessary physician supervision in many treatment settings by amending the Medicare definition of “physician” to include psychologists. This definition already includes podiatrists, chiropractors, optometrists, and dentists. Psychologists are the only doctoral-level provider not included.

Click link below to write your Members of Congress today and urge them to co-sponsor the Medicare Mental Health Access Act!

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2017 Annual Business Meeting - Announcing our Award Winners!

NPA Recognizes the Hard Work of its Members at our 2017 Annual Business Meeting

James Mikawa Award – Bradley Donohue, Ph.D.

Outstanding Contribution to NPA Award – Bree Mullin, Psy.D. and Travis Loughran, M.A.

Outstanding Advocacy Award – Shera Bradley, Ph.D.

2017 Student Poster Presentation Winners

1st Place: Andrew Ahrendt – DBT for DV: New Model, Same Positive Outcomes

2nd Place: Yulia Gavrilova – Controlled Evaluation of a Method of Recruiting Participants into Treatment Outcome Research

3rd Place: Tori DiBona – Career Identity and Resilience in Relation to Success in STEM Fields

Nevada Psychology Interns Now Authorized to Bill Medicaid

Nevada Psychological Association successfully advocates for interns’ enrolllment in state-run insurance program.

On Feb. 22, Nevada Medicaid approved new rules allowing appropriately supervised doctoral interns to enroll as Medicaid providers, making Nevada the 18th state to do so.

Click link below to view entire article

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Up to code: Keep currrent with coding

The latest on psychological and neuropsychological testing codes.

Practicing psychologists need to know almost as much about billing codes as they do about their patients…..

Click link below to view entire article

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Victory! House Pulls "American Health Care Act" From Floor

On Friday, March 24th, House leaders stopped consideration of the “American Health Care Act”, legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), as it did not appear to have enough votes for passage.

Click on attachment to read more…..

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Nevada Seeks Big Shift in Mental Health System

Nevada Seeks Big Shift in Mental Health System
BY MICHELLE RINDELS
PUBLISHED FEBRUARY 5TH, 2017 – 2:40 AM

Nevada Independent

Click link below to read article

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Victory! Congress passes Mental Health Reform

You did it! Today the Senate voted 94-5 to pass federal mental health reform, as part of the 21st Century Cures legislation. This follows up on a 392-26 vote last week by the U.S. House of Representatives. President Obama is expected to sign this legislation into law. Because of your efforts psychologists from around the country sent over 8,000 messages to Congress, urging their legislators to pass mental health reform.

Click to read more…

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2017-19 DHS Budget Presentation for Health Care Financing and Policy

Please click on link below to view this very detailed and informative 2017-2019 budget presentation of DHS’s Division of Health Care Financing and Policy.

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When a psychologist gets sick

How to deal with those times when illness interferes with your practice.

If you’re Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, running a campaign in one of the most contentious elections in recent U.S. history, getting sick is probably one of the last things you’re worried about. The same could be said for a psychologist working as a solo practitioner or helping run a successful group practice.

As a psychologist, you may be in the middle of a “busy season” for your practice. You have a consistent level of clientele and you’re making a steady income. Most importantly, you’re fully invested in providing your patients with the best health care you have to offer. Then, in an unexpected turn, you’re hit with a medical diagnosis that forces you to reevaluate how much time you can commit to working. Your physician may even instruct you to take some time off.

Click link to read more…

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APAPO - The Broad View

A few weeks before our NPA delegation went off to the APA/APAPO State Leadership Conference in March, we got a letter about looming financial problems facing the APAPO.  We got much more detailed information at the conference.  It definitely impacts NPA in a big way.

Click on attached article to find out why, and how you can possibly help.

Wendi O’Connor
Executive Director

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Annual Business Meeting April 30th, 2016 - Congratulations to our 2016 NPA Award Winners!

NPA Recognizes the Hard Work of its Members at our 2016 Annual Business Meeting

 

James Mikawa Award – Richard Baldo, Ph.D.

Outstanding Contribution to NPA Award – Steven Graybar, Ph.D. and Robyn Donaldson, Ph.D.

Outstanding Advocacy Award – Melanie Crawford, Ph.D.

2016 Student Poster Presentation Winners

1st Place: Caitlin McLean – The feasibility and efficacy of a web-based Acceptance and Commitment Therapy program for survivors of interpersonal trauma

2nd Place: Julie Skutch – Context Matters: Comparing Two Measures of Emotion Regulation

3rd Place: Abigail Mayfield – Utility of WISC-IV Short Forms in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

NPA Receives 2016 Award for Outstanding Association at the APAPO State Leadership Conference in Washington DC

NPA received the 2016 Award for Outstanding Association at the 2016 APAPO State Leadership Conference in Washington DC.
Way to go NPA!2016 SLC - NPA receives Outstanding SPTA Award

Unnecessary physician supervision and Medicare payment rates highlight coming legislative agenda

Learn more about what the APA Practice Organization is doing on behalf of practicing psychologists in 2016.

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ICD-10-CM code discrepancies found in DSM-5

Get information about noted discrepancies, and instructions for printing out the Coding Updates for DSM-5 from the American Psychiatric Association.

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Urge Your Members of Congress to Co-Sponsor The Medicare Mental Health Access Act

APAPO is excited to announce that on December 16, 2015 Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD), joined by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), introduced H.R. 4277, the Medicare Mental Health Access Act, in the U.S. House of Representatives. This bipartisan legislation would allow psychologists to provide Medicare services to patients without unnecessary physician supervision in all treatment centers by amending the Medicare definition of physician to include psychologists.

The Medicare Mental Health Access Act is professional psychology’s priority legislation, and we need your help contacting Congress!

Click here to write to your Members of Congress today and urge them to co-sponsor the Medicare Mental Health Access Act! 

Direct Link:  http://capwiz.com/apapractice/issues/alert/?alertid=69079631

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Letter to the APA

On December 1st, 2015, the Executive Board of the Nevada Psychological Association sent a letter via email to the APA and to Drs. McDaniel and Puente. This letter, attached below, is a summary based upon your responses to questions from the survey which our Ad Hoc Committee administered. The Ad Hoc Committee summarized these responses and composed a letter which was then reviewed and edited by the Executive Board.

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NPA Survey Results

The NPA board formed the Ad Hoc Committee in order to gain information regarding membership concerns and reactions to the Hoffman Report. Results from the survey that was sent to the membership in September now available. Click below to view survey results

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ICD-10 Webinar

ICD-10 – Being Ready for the October Deadline
Presented by: Antonio E. Puente, Ph.D.,
University of North Carolina Wilmington

A Webinar, via the Web

Click READ MORE for more details and registration form

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CMS Again Extends 2014 PQRS Informal Review Period to December 16

Eligible professionals (EPs) in Medicare, including psychologists, who believe they have been incorrectly assessed the 2016 PQRS negative payment adjustment have until 11:50pm ET on December 16, 2015 to request an informal review of their 2014 PQRS reporting data. For more details, click below.

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CMS Releases 2016 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Final Rule

On October 30th, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the final rule on the 2016 Medicare physician fee schedule, establishing Medicare’s payment policies for the coming year.

Click on attachment for more details.

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Oregon allows doctoral psychology interns and residents to bill Medicaid

Learn more about the new law that advances integrated care by including psychologists as behavioral health clinicians in patient centered primary care homes and behavioral health homes

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CMS sends 2% Medicare payment reduction notices for 2016

If you have received a letter from CMS, find out how to appeal and avoid future penalties

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August APA Council Report 8/21/15

APA Council Representative Report for August 2015
Lisa Grossman, JD, PhD, ABPP, Division 31 APA Council Representative

8/21/15

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NPA Exec Board Response to the APA Independent Review

July 21st, 2015
NPA Executive Board’s response to the APA Independent Review

Robyn Donaldson, 2015/16 NPA President

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Sept 2015 APA Monitor

APA takes strong action in response to independent review.
Click to read article in September APA Monitor

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APA's Council Bans Psychologist Participation in National Security Interrogations

TORONTO — The American Psychological Association’s Council of Representatives voted overwhelmingly today to prohibit psychologists from participating in national security interrogations.

Click link to read more

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