ELECTRONIC PRESCRIBING WAIVER APPLICATIONS NOW AVAILABLE
The Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement (BNE) recently released its online electronic prescribing waiver request process, available through the Health Commerce System. Prescribers must have a Health Commerce System account in order to use the online waiver application. Paper applications are also available by calling BNE at 1-866-811-7957. One-year waivers may be granted to prescribers who demonstrate economic hardship, technological limitations or other exceptional circumstances. BNE has provided the following instructions for completing the online waiver application via the Health Commerce System:
Instructions for Individual Practitioners - Click Here
on his promotion to the dual positions of Senior Associate Dean for Human Subjects Research and Executive Director of the Program for the Protection of Human Subjects (PPHS) at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS). Dr. Martin has been a member of the full-time ISMMS Department of Psychiatry faculty for nearly twenty years, most recently serving as Director of Medical Informatics at Elmhurst Hospital Center and Queens Hospital Center.
Join the NY Out of Network Preservation Group, a unified, coordinated effort by 300 Physicians from all NY societies, associations, institutes and departments to pool resources for future strategies to maintain Out of Network Coverage, including PR to warn NY patients about losing their freedom to choose Physicians.
Today, NYSPA received a letter from the NYS Office of the Medicaid Inspector General rescinding demand letters for repayment of claimed Medicaid overpayments for services provided to individuals who were covered by both Medicare and Medicaid.
Act Now to Prevent Psychology Prescribing in New York
Late last week, a bill (S. 5824) was introduced in the NYS Senate that would expand the scope of practice of psychology by authorizing psychologists to prescribe medication used in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of individuals with psychiatric, mental, cognitive, nervous, emotional or behavioral disorders.
Jamaica Hospital Hosts Veterans Mental Health Training Session
On April 2, 2015, NYSPA and the Queens District Branch hosted a joint Grand Rounds at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center as part of its Veterans Mental Health-Primary Care Training Initiative (VMH-PCTI). The VMH-PCTI provides educational programs on mental health issues affecting returning veterans and is supported by a $165,000 grant from the New York State Legislature. The grant is intended to provide training for primary care providers, including physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners. The training focuses on veteran-specific mental health disorders, including combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, substance use disorders and traumatic brain injury.
The Deadline for Mandatory Electronic Prescribing in New York has been Postponed until March 27, 2016
Visit the E-Prescribing section of our website where you will find a copy of the live webinar, FAQs about electronic prescribing and resource links. Additional information will be added as it becomes available.
NYSPA Letter Expresses Concerns About Justice Center Investigations
Last week, NYSPA sent a letter to Jeff Wise, Executive Director of the NYS Justice Center, expressing concerns raised by psychiatrists regarding the manner in which Justice Center investigations are conducted. Many NYSPA members work in facilities under the jurisdiction of the Justice Center, including inpatient psychiatric units in general hospitals, CPEPs and outpatient mental health clinics. We identified the following issues of concern:
Federal Court Holds That NYSPA Has Standing to Sue United Healthcare
In a precedent-setting decision issued earlier today, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals held that NYSPA has associational standing at this point in the litigation to challenge alleged parity violations by United HealthCare in its role as claims administrator.
The Parity Enforcement Project is a joint initiative of NYSPA and the APA intended to provide psychiatrists and their patients with a new approach and new tools to fight back against discriminatory practices by health plans. The central goal of the Project is to identify and challenge existing parity violations, particularly in the context of disparate medical necessity reviews for behavioral health benefits, including:
New Patient Disclosure Requirements Effective March 31, 2015
Public Health Law §24, enacted into law last year, requires, effective March 31, 2015, that all physicians, other health care providers and hospitals make certain disclosures to patients in treatment. The new statutory requirement was prompted by the perceived problem of so-called “surprise bills” received by patients when they received inpatients or outpatient hospital and other outpatient surgical procedures.
NYSPA responded on January 4, 2016 to an Executive Order from Governor Cuomo requiring local governments across the state to bring homeless individuals to shelters in freezing temperatures. A copy of both the Executive Order and NYSPA's letter to Ann Sullivan, MD, Commissioner of the New York State Office of Mental Health, can be accessed by clicking the links below.
New York's Highest Court Issues Key Decision on Physician-Patient Privilege
On May 5, 2015, the New York State Court of Appeals unanimously held in People v. Rivera that the physician-patient privilege was not abrogated in a criminal proceeding where a defendant's psychiatrist was called to testify at trial concerning the defendant's admission that he had abused a child. NYSPA filed an amicus brief in the case arguing that the physician-patient privilege precluded the psychiatrist's testimony, which should not have been allowed. The Court of Appeals agreed with NYSPA's position, affirming the Appellate Division's holding that the lower court erred in permitting the psychiatrist to testify and remanding the case for a new trial.
Attorney General Announces Parity Settlements with ValueOptions and Excellus Health Plan
The New York State Attorney General's Office recently announced two new settlements with insurance carriers aimed enforcing federal and state parity laws. On March 5, 2015, the Attorney General's Office released details regarding its settlement with ValueOptions (now known as Beacon Health Options), the managed care company that administers behavioral health benefits for The Empire Plan, MVP Health Care and EmblemHealth, among others. Just two weeks later, on March 18th, the Attorney General announced a settlement with upstate carrier Excellus Health Plan, part of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
NYSPA Launches Veterans Mental Health – Primary Care Training Initiative
The New York State Psychiatric Association was pleased to present the inaugural training session of the Veterans Mental Health – Primary Care Training Initiative (VMH-PCTI), a comprehensive program addressing veterans' mental health issues, at the Albany Medical Center, in Albany, New York, on Friday, November 14, 2014. The program was jointly hosted by the Capital District Branch of the American Psychiatric Association and the Albany Medical Center Department of Psychiatry.