Focus on Addiction Psychiatry: An Interview with Petros Levounis, MD, President of the American Psychiatric Association (APA)

The following are excerpts of an August 21, 2023, conversation with Petros Levounis, MD, current President of the American Psychiatric Association (APA). This interview has been edited for clarity. Rachel Fernbach: First congratulations on your new position as President of the American...

The NYSPA Report – Insurance Circular Letter No. 1 (2023): A New Tool in the Fight Against Stigma

In 2022, the United States Departments of Labor, Treasury and Health and Human Services issued a joint report entitled “2022 MHPAEA Report to Congress - Realizing Parity, Reducing Stigma, and Raising Awareness: Increasing Access to Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Coverage.” The Report...

Mental Health Parity in New York – How It Started, How It’s Going

Picnics and Pizza The fight for mental health parity - equal coverage and reimbursement by health insurers of mental illnesses and conditions - has been long and challenging. In the 1990s, the National Picnic for Parity became a grassroots movement in support of parity. The group hosted spirited...

Increased Access to Telehealth as a Means of Reducing Stigma

The Random House College Dictionary defines stigma as “a stain or reproach, as on one’s reputation.”1 Dictionary.com adds to this definition “a mark of disgrace or infamy.”2 In the context of mental health, stigma means a negative perception of mental illness, which has long served as a...

Pediatric Behavioral Health Urgent Care: An Innovative Model of Care for Children and Adolescents

The Cohen Children’s Pediatric Behavioral Health Urgent Care Center (“BH Urgi”), located on Long Island, NY, is an alternative treatment setting for school-aged children and adolescents ages 5 through 17 in need of urgent mental health support. BH Urgi is intended to provide urgent or...

Federal and State Vaccine Mandates and The Behavioral Health Workforce

The COVID-19 public health emergency has contributed to workforce crises across almost all industries, fields and professions. The behavioral health field has not been immune. Even worse, behavioral health has historically been impacted by workforce challenges, stemming from “chronic underfunding...

The NYSPA Report: The Future of Telehealth in New York State

For many years, the New York State Psychiatric Association (NYSPA) has been advocating for mental health parity – equivalent coverage and reimbursement for the treatment of mental health and substance use disorders. In addition to Timothy’s Law, New York’s mental health mandate, and the...

Remote Access to Mental Health Care and Treatment During the COVID-19 Crisis

New York State has unfortunately become an epicenter of the COVID-19 public health emergency, with more confirmed positive cases than any other State in the nation. During the COVID-19 crisis, the use of telehealth and telemedicine has become an essential tool in ensuring continued access to mental...

An Introduction to Reimbursement and Coding for Psychiatric Collaborative Care Management Services

Integrated care has been recognized as a valuable tool for enhancing the overall health of individuals with serious and persistent mental illness (SPMI) by improving access to care and treatment for co-morbid medical conditions often experienced by individuals with SPMI. Similar benefits are also...

Mental Health Parity and Its Impact on the Behavioral Health Workforce

In 2006, New York enacted a parity mandate in the form of Timothy’s Law, which requires group health plans to provide 30 inpatient days and 20 outpatient days for most mental health diagnoses and requires large plans to provide full coverage for certain biologically based illnesses. Several years...