Update from MPA's Health Care Reform Committee (HCRC)

The original intent of this article was to inform MPA’s membership of our promotion from the Health Care Reform Task Force to the Health Care Reform Committee (HCRC), describe the HCRC’s relatively short history, and report current/future goals (but more about that later in this article).

Given recent changes announced by Medicare, however, it seems more prudent to focus providing information gleaned by the HCRC (and other MPA member/committees) regarding such.  Trisha Stark, Ph.D., L.P., provided the following link for the HCRC’s 5/2/16 monthly call-in committee meeting:  http://healthaffairs.org/blog/2016/04/29/breaking-down-the-macra-proposed-rule/   Dr. Stark is chair of MPA’s Electronic Healthcare Records Task Force and an HCRC committee member. 

Dr. Stark warned that the article is several hundred pages (I certainly haven’t digested it all).  But the article does discuss more about PQRS, MAV, MIS, etc.  (ACRONYMS! ACRONYMS! The bane of my brain).  Seymour Gross, PhD, LP, Federal Advocacy Coordinator for MPA’s General Council (GC) recently described this situation as well in an e-mail to MPA members regarding current federal legislation psychologists should be aware of.  Unfortunately, I have this irritating habit of deleting e-mails too soon, so I can’t provide a date for Dr. Gross’ e-posting. 

The most recent National Psychologist has an interesting article about psychologists being wrongfully denied PQRS incentives.  I’ve been receiving The National Psychologist in the mail for years.  I’ve found that The National Psychologist can be helpful explaining many issues in our professional lives that seem terribly esoteric. 

I noticed that The National Psychologist has the same article online.  The article includes links to CMS where we can inspect our PQRS performance reports for 2014.  This article also includes a link for APA members to report MAV errors.  When you follow these links and inspect your PQRS Performance Report, I hope your experience is more helpful than mine was, however. 

My PQRS Individual Performance Report for 2014 suggested I’d met reporting criteria.  Talking with a representative live, however, indicated I did not exist in their system (I couldn’t be found with any of my two NPI’s, nor my TIN, SSI, or DOB).  The representative agreed I must exist if I was able to see my 2014 performance report on their website.  The representative consulted with a supervisor. 

After several minutes the representative came back and indicated that his supervisor determined I do indeed exist in their system (YAY! PHEW!).  The representative informed me that they have additional information not available on the Performance Report we view online.  The representative indicated I had NOT met 2014 requirements.  I asked the representative if so, why did I not receive the rejection letter many MPA members “list-served” about last year.  The representative said he did not know (AAAARRRGGH!!).  That’s all I could tolerate (I’m running a business here, after all, have patients to see, have a life outside my office), so I haven’t taken the time to follow up more.   

Now I’d like to provide what I’d originally intended to focus on in this article.  MPA’s Health Care Reform Committee (HCRC) meets monthly by conference call.  The HCRC originated as the Health Care Reform Task Force (HCRTF) several years ago.  The Minneapolis Neuropsychologist Karen E. Wills, PhD, LP, ABPP and the Edina Neuropsychologist Susan McPherson PhD, LP, ABPP were the HCRTF’s chair and co-chair, respectively when the undersigned psychologist joined the task force.  

MPA’s Governing Council (GC) asked HCRTF members to collect and disseminate information to MPA members about changes to the practice of psychology as a result of the Accountable Care Act (ACA).  MPA’s GC suggested this task force re-organize as the HCRC about a year ago. 

The HCRC is looking for MPA members to participate in HCRC’s monthly call-in meetings.  Conference call-in meetings are held the first Monday each month.  The Duluth Neuropsychologist Michael Sharland, PhD, LP, ABPP is the HCRC’s new chairperson.  Dr. Sharland developed the neuropsychology program at Essentia Health-Duluth Clinic.

Recent events coordinated by the HCRC include a First Friday Forum presented 12/4/15 by Ann Sandgren, PhD, LP, Clinical Health Psychologist.  Dr. Sandgren’s Friday Forum, “The Future is Brighter with Psychologists in Hospitals and Clinic Practices,” was well-received and generated ideas for future workshops/forums.   The HCRC also coordinated the panel presentation “Psychologists and Integrative Care: Building a Partnership with Integrated Care,” presented at MPA’s 80th Annual Conference, 4/16/16.

MPA’s HCRC members work closely with other MPA committees, including the Education and Training Committee.  The HCRC invites interested MPA members to contact us with questions.  We welcome any ideas for future Friday Forums, MPA Annual Conference presentations, webinars, etc. 

We also welcome new committee members interested in learning more about possible effects of the ACA on psychologists. The HCRC plans to provide useful and relevant links for the Resources page on the MPA website regarding changes in health care that could affect us professionally. 

Lisa S. Squire, Ph.D., L.P., is a member of MPA’s Health Care Reform Committee (HCRC).  Dr. Squire has an independent practice in Bloomington, MN.  She sees children, teens, and adults for psychotherapy and psychological assessments. Her website is www.lisasquire.com


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Lisa Squire - Tuesday, June 07, 2016

From Lisa S. Squire, PhD, LP: I misspoke (miswrote?) in this article, 2nd paragraph-The link provided by Dr. Stark leads us to a helpful blog article re current CMS issues. It is the original CMS document that's several hundred pages long...

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