2014 LEGISLATIVE SESSION

WVPA Federal Advocate Coordinator – Jessica Luzier, PhD

WVPA members can contact Dr. Luzier with questions or comments about national policies of interest to psychologists and communications with West Virginia’s Congressional delegation.
Send e-mail to: Senator Manchin (or go to his Web page)
Senator Rockefeller  (or go to his Web page)
First District:     Congressman McKinley
Second District: Congresswoman Capito’s Web site
Third District:    Congressman Rahall  (or go to his Web page)
WVPA State Government Affairs Chairs – Steven Cody, PhD and David Clayman, PhD

How to Contact Your Legislators

The West Virginia Legislature has expanded information available through its Internet web-sitehttp://www.legis.state.wv.us/.  E-mails may be sent to Senators and Delegates by looking within the website for individual legislators.  You can also leave voice-mail messages for legislators or request copies of bills during the legislation session by calling 1-877-56-LEGIS (1-877-565-3447).

Under the excellent direction of State Governmental Affairs Committee Chairpersons Dr. Steven Cody and Dr. David Clayman and Federal Governmental Affairs Committee Chairperson Dr. Jessica Luzier, and in consultation with the WVPA Board of Directors, you will be kept informed on issues of interest during the new legislative session.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVED MENTAL HEALTH CARE OUTCOMES AND REDUCED COSTS IN WEST VIRGINIA UNDER AFFORDABLE CARE ACT.

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New opportunities in primary and integrated care paid for by federal funds for doctoral level psychologists. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) establishes and funds number of new initiatives that promote primary and integrated care. For example:
o       Doctoral level psychologists may participate in community interdisciplinary, interprofessional health teams that promote primary care practices. Through this Health and Human Services (HHS) grant program, these health teams will support primary care providers and patient-centered medical homes.
o       Doctoral level Psychologists may be part of consortia of health providers who deliver comprehensive and integrated care services for low-income populations. This HHS grant program will seek in particular those consortia with networks to provide the broadest range of services to low-income individuals.
o       Doctoral level Psychologists may fully participate in health homes as part of health teams or designated providers of health home services in a new state option under Medicaid to provide services to individuals who have at least two chronic conditions, one chronic condition and are at risk of having a second, or one serious and persistent mental health condition.
  • A new Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation will test innovative payment and service delivery models to reduce program costs while preserving or enhancing quality of care furnished to individuals. Among the host of models that this new innovation center will test are: patient-centered medical homes; direct contracting with groups of providers to promote innovative delivery service models; geriatric plans to coordinate care for individuals with multiple chronic conditions, including cognitive impairment or dementia; community-based health teams to support small-practice medical homes to assist primary care practitioners in chronic care management; promoting access to outpatient services without physician referral where the provider (such as a psychologist) has authority to furnish such services under state law; and utilizing, particularly in entities located in underserved areas, telehealth services in treating behavioral health issues, for example, related to post-traumatic stress disorder and stroke.
  • New Medicaid mental health mandated benefits and parity requirements. Mental health services must now be included as basic services in Medicaid benchmark equivalent plans provided by states to Medicaid beneficiaries.
  • A national focus on prevention. The ACA establishes a National Prevention, Health Promotion and Public Health Council to develop a health strategy and a fund to provide for expanded and sustained investment in prevention and public health programs. Mental health and substance use services are included along with other health services in this new strategy.

 

LUZIER SPEAKS AT CHIP ROUNDTABLE

Dr. Jess Luzier spoke at Senator Rockefeller’s Clinical Roundtable on the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) on Sept 6, 2013. The Senator elicited ideas from a variety of providers about the CHIP program, and larger issues of providing care to West Virginia children. Dr. Luzier stressed the gravity of challenges children in our state face when it comes to accessing quality, evidence-based care for mental health problems.

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