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...

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...

The NYSPA Report: Spotlight on OnTrackNY – New York’s First-Episode Psychosis Early Intervention Program

OnTrackNY is a coordinated specialty care program for adolescents and young adults who have started experiencing psychotic symptoms. Started in 2013, the program is a joint collaboration of the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH), the New York State Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI), the...

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...

The NYSPA Report: New York’s Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Reporting Bill

If signed into law by Governor Cuomo, New York’s parity reporting bill (A.3694-C/S.1156-C) will be among the most comprehensive laws of its kind in the country. The bill was passed by both the New York State Senate and New York State Assembly in the final week of the 2017/2018 Legislative...

The NYSPA Parity Enforcement Project: New Tools for Patients and Providers in The Fight Against Parity

The passage of the federal Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA) represented a landmark moment for those fighting for parity in behavioral health benefits. In the years since MHPAEA and its implementing regulations went into effect, many of the financial restrictions and...

The Veterans Mental Health Primary Care Training Initiative: Training a Healthcare Workforce to Meet the Mental Health Needs of Returning Veterans

The New York State Psychiatric Association (NYSPA) is taking a lead role in working to meet the mental health needs of veterans returning from combat duty through its Veterans Mental Health Primary Care Training Initiative (VMH-PCTI). The VMH-PCTI, which provides educational programs on mental...

The NYSPA Report: New Medicaid Restrictions on the Prescription of Benzodiazepines

Late last year, the New York State Medicaid Drug Utilization Review Board (DURB) recommended new protocols in connection with the prescribing of benzodiazepines under the Medicaid program. Benzodiazepines, a controlled substance, are a class of psychotropic medication used to reduce symptoms of...

The NYSPA Report – The Safe Act: A New Reporting Requirement for Mental Health Professionals

The Secure Ammunition and Firearms Security (SAFE) Act, signed into law by Governor Cuomo on January 15, 2013, is a gun control statute that substantially strengthens rules governing access to firearms and ammunition. The law also imposes a new mandatory reporting requirement on health care...

The NYSPA Report: New Federal Parity Law May Expand Coverage for Mental Illness in New York

This edition of the NYSPA Report discusses the impact that new federal parity legislation may have on the coverage of mental health and substance abuse services in New York State. The Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, signed into law on October 3, 2008,...