Latest News


SMBO will again be reviewing austim spectrum disorder as a potential qualifying condition for medical marijuana

Comment by Feb. 29, 2024

The State Medical Board of Ohio accepted two potential diagnoses as potential qualifying conditions for medical marijuana including: 1) female orgasmic difficulty and 2) autism spectrum disorder. Public comments are being accepted by the Board through Feb. 29. OPPA will again submit comments in opposition to adding ASD to the list of qualifying conditions.


February is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

Teen dating violence, also known as intimate partner violence or intimate relationship violence, is a serious problem in the U.S., affecting approximately 10% of all teenagers between the age of 12 to 18. It includes stalking, harassment, physical or sexual abuse. Throughout February, organizations and individuals nationwide are coming together to highlight the need to educate young people about dating violence, teach healthy relationship skills and prevent the devastating cycle of abuse. With their adult allies, youth activists achieved a major victory in 2005 and 2013 when the importance of addressing teen dating abuse was highlighted in the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. Both Chambers of Congress have declared the entire month of February to teen dating violence awareness and prevention.


HPIO releases latest brief: New Data Snapshot on Suicide

The Health Policy Institute of Ohio recently released its latest brief on New Data Snapshot on Suicide. In Ohio, approximately five people die by suicide every day. These preventable deaths have a tremendous impact on Ohio families and communities. With the rate of suicide climbing over the past decade, both in Ohio and nationally, there are evidence-informed strategies that both public- and private-sector leaders can implement to address the issue. This HPIO data snapshot includes visualizations on suicide prevalence and trends in Ohio, geographic differences in suicide rates and changes in mental health challenges among Ohio high school students. It also includes a list of resources to improve suicide prevention in Ohio.


OPPA applauds Gov. DeWine's announcement of increased support for human trafficking survivors

Topic will be addressed at upcoming OPPA Annual Psychiatric Update

OPPA president, Alyse Stolting, MD, stated Governor DeWine's announcement of nearly $5 million in funding to enhance support for human trafficking survivors in Ohio is truly commendable. This substantial investment reflects the Governor's commitment to addressing the needs of survivors and combating the pervasive issue of human trafficking. The inclusion of mental health services in the funded programs is particularly praiseworthy, recognizing the critical role mental health plays in the recovery of survivors. The prioritization of evidence-based and survivor-informed programming ensures that the allocated funds will be utilized effectively, providing impactful services to those who need them the most.The upcoming OPPA meeting will also address human trafficking, providing a platform for discussions and collaborations that will contribute to the ongoing fight against human trafficking.


CMS finalizes rule to improve prior authorization process

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) affirms its commitment to advancing interoperability and improving prior authorization processes with the publication of the CMS Interoperability and Prior Authorization final rule (CMS-0057-


Kennedy Forum issues report on Ensuring Coverage of Behavioral Health Emergency Services

In mid-December 2023, the Kennedy Forum released a new brief, “Ensuring Coverage of Behavioral Health Emergency Services.” Addressed in the brief are policy options that will insurance coverage for the full range of behavioral health emergency services, examine a case study from Washington State, and outline model legislation. Currently, commercial insurance doesn’t cover the full range of behavioral health emergency services, and the cost is unjustly offloaded onto public institutions. This not only burdens the taxpayer, but also leaves systems of care underfunded, understaffed, or altogether non-existent. The Kennedy Forum recognizes that people should have access to comprehensive health care whenever they need it, including moments of crisis. Furthermore, lack of available resources and insurance coverage should not stand in the way of our communities’ ability to provide emergency care from crisis call to crisis response. We urge policymakers to embrace our recommendations to build out and subsequently enforce coverage for the full continuum of behavioral health emergency care.


2024 Ohio Mental Health Parity Annual Report

The Ohio Department of Insurance (ODI) and the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) shall jointly report annually on the departments’ efforts, which shall include information on consumer and payer outreach activities and identification of trends and barriers to access and coverage in this state. This year, information from Recovery Ohio are also included. The departments shall submit the report to the general assembly, the joint medicaid oversight committee, and the governor, not later than the thirtieth day of January of each year


APA draft guideline on the Prevention and Treatment of Delirium

APA seeks review and draft comments before the deadline of March 8

The draft guidance was developed following the APA guideline development process and was drafted on a systematic review of the available evidence conducted by the Pacific Northwest Evidence-based Practice Center. Guideline statements are based on the balance of possible benefits and harms of the recommended actions as discussed in the text. This document is a draft only and does not yet represent official APA policy.


OhioMHAS posts new proposed rule on gender transition care

Following comment on draft rules filed by OhioMHAS on Jan. 5, 2024, related to gender transition care, after taking into consideration comments received, OhioMHAS has filed new proposed rules. OPPA joined other statewide medical groups in submitting comments in January. Comments on the new proposed rules must be made by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, February 14, 2024.


Registration now open for OPPA's Annual Psychiatric Update!

April 13-14, 2024, Marriott University, Columbus

Psychiatry has undergone notable expansion in recent years, characterized not only by innovative advancements in treatment interventions but also by an increased propensity for inclusion, engagement with the wider society, self-critique, introspection, and a conscientious reevaluation of conventional wisdom. The 2024 Annual Psychiatric Update by OPPA, “Re-imagining Mental Health: Innovations and Insights in Psychiatry” takes place in this context.


Ohio Suicide Prevention Plan for 2024-2026 released

Last week, Governor Mike DeWine, the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, Recovery Ohio, and the Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation released the 2024-2026 suicide prevention plan for Ohio. The plan aims to promote life-saving strategies statewide.


HPIO releases latest brief on ACEs prevention strategies

A webinar on the topic will be held on Wed., Feb. 28, at 11:30 a.m.

The Health Policy Institute of Ohio (HPIO) has released a new publication titled “Strategies to Prevent Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) in Ohio: Promoting Positive Social Norms and Intervening to Lessen Harm.” Since 2020, HPIO has released a series of policy briefs on ACEs in Ohio. As part of its Ohio ACEs Impact Project, HPIO has outlined a comprehensive and strategic approach to preventing ACEs, elevating 12 key evidence-informed strategies. This latest brief examines the implementation status of four strategies to promote social norms that protect against violence and adversity and intervene to lessen immediate and long-term harm.


Study links teen substance use to mental health distress

Teenagers who use cannabis, alcohol, and nicotine are more likely to have underlying psychiatric symptoms, and worse symptoms, than their peers who are not regularly using substances, new research has found. The research, recently published in JAMA Pediatrics, found that such substances are linked to an array of symptoms and conditions, including anxiety, depression, hyperactivity, and suicidal ideation.


RecoveryOhio releases Strategic Plan

RecoveryOhio recently offered a comprehensive roadmap designed to address the challenges and opportunities in Ohio’s recovery and mental health landscape. The three-year roadmap addresses community needs around addiction and mental health and will modernize interactions between the state and the public, and create a focus on the initiatives and deliver the greatest results to the greatest number of Ohioans.


OPPA applauds Gov. Mike DeWine for vetoing HB 68 on transgender medical care

The OPPA applauds Governor Mike DeWine for vetoing House Bill 68, legislation that would have restricted the medical care for transgender minors and would have banned transgender girls from female sports. Legislation that denies transgender youth access to gender-affirming care exposes vulnerable youth to marginalization, exacerbates existing health disparities, facilitates risky behaviors, and leads to preventable deaths. Transgender youth quite often have co-occuring anxiety and depression and they experience higher rates of suicide ideation.


ODM recorded webinar on Direct Worker Relationships Rule Training

Rule goes into effect on January 1, 2024

The Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) posted a recorded training for implementation of the forthcoming OAC rule 5160-44-32 Home and community based Medicaid waiver program provider and direct care worker relationships on the ODM resuming routine Medicaid eligibility operations webpage under “Appendix K Resources.” There, you will find the operational training for the extraordinary care instrument to support care coordinators’ determination of clients’ extraordinary care needs.


Stress and Resilience in Training and Practice - free webinar by the Area 4 Council of the APA Assembly

December 2, 2023, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. EST

This panel discussion webinar is targeted to RFMs and ECPs, but all are welcome to attend. Topics to be covered include: Research Studies on the Prevalence of Depression in Residency Training; Personal Psychotherapy for RFMs and ECPs; Protective Strategies for Stress Reduction; and Boundaries and Ethics in the Treatment of Colleagues. Email Eileen McGee, MD @ for the Zoom link.


New ODM behavioral health website and email for policy questions

Last month, the Ohio Department of Medicaid launched heir re-vamped website on October 6th to take advantage of features available through the new InnovateOhio platform. The behavioral health information can still be accessed on their former URL, or by searching under the “Resources for Providers” tab at changes include a new Behavioral Health page, with information such as a provider search to make it easier for members to find information about BH services – and includes helpful resources that should support more effective linkages and care coordination across BH providers and stakeholders.


AMA releases Overdose Epidemic Report 2023

The American Medical Association recently released its Overdose Epidemic Report 2023. Opioid prescriptions decrease for the 13th consecutive year while overdose and death related to illicitly manufactured fentanyl, methamphetamine and cocaine increase. Xylazine and other toxic synthetic adulterants present new challenges.


Act Now! Support behavioral health integration and collaborative care

Encourage your federal senators and representatives to support this important legislation

APA supports legislation to incentivize primary care to integrate behavioral health into their practices to increase access to needed MH and SUD services. The Collaborative Care Model (CoCM) is an evidence-based delivery model supported by over 100 research studies and 51 organizations across the physician, employer, payer, mental health and patient spectrum that increases access to mental health and SUD services, patient outcomes and saves money. Encourage your federal senators and representatives to support this important legislation!


Free webinar on Ohio's new Confidential Monitoring Program

Thursday, November 9 at 7 p.m. (eastern time)

The Ohio Professionals Health Program (OhioPHP), will host a webinar on Thursday, Nov. 9, at 7:00 p.m., to share more about changes made by the State Medical Board of Ohio (SMBO) regarding impairment modernization, including a new Confidential Monitoring Program.


OPPA provides proponent testimony on HB 249 - Involuntary Treatment for Mental Illness

Doug Smith, MD, Chair of OPPA's Integrated Care Committee, provided written proponent testimony on HB 249, which would improve the likelihood that individuals with mental illness receive prompt clinical evaluations to help determine the need for additional mental health services, by adding a fifth criterion to OhioMHAS' Application for Emergency Admission.


20 % of Primary Care Providers Say They're Incentivised for Behavorial Health

The majority of primary care clinicians say they want to provide more behavioral health care but need additional training tools and resources. This comes as more providers and payers emphasize the benefits of primary and behavioral health care integration.


CJ CCoE September 2023 Ohio CIT training report released

The Criminal Justice Coordinating Center of Excellence's prepares and releases biannually reports in September and March. The CJ CCoE has been tracking Ohio CIT training information since its inception in 2000, when it was first implemented in two counties. We have now reached 80% historic participation across all of Ohio's law enforcement agencies! New to this edition: details on a point-in-time count conducted in 2022 (page 9), which determined the number of CIT trained officers still active in Ohio. This project showed that across Ohio, 72% of CIT trained officers are still active in the field. In the coming months, this will be broken down by CIT program and a detailed version of the information revealed in this study will be provided to CIT Program Coordinators.


PRMS Case of the Quarter - A tale of two cases

The “Case of the Quarter” column, written by Professional Risk Management Services' Claims Department, is a sample case study that highlights best practices in actual scenarios encountered through PRMS’ extensive experience in litigation and claims management. Specific names and references have been altered to protect clients’ interests. This discussion is for informational and education purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice.


Medical Board issues Annual Report

The State Medical Board of Ohio has released its Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2023 which includes data on licensure activity, treatment and compliance, fiscal report, communications and outreach activities and more.


Join APA October 16-17, 2023 in Washington, D.C.

The 2023 Federal Advocacy Conference is a unique opportunity for psychiatrists to lobby members of Congress on issues that affect their practice and patients. APA members are invited to attend and play a critical role in shaping health care policy during the 118th Congress.


OhioPHP launches "The Power in Reaching Out"

The Ohio Professionals Health Program (OhioPHP) has launched its June awareness campaign, The Power in Reaching Out, which is dedicated to raising awareness among healthcare professionals about the power in reaching out to a colleague who may be struggling. A simple conversation can save a life.


Apply to STAR-LRP Program

HRSA’s Substance Use Disorder Treatment and Recovery Loan Repayment Program (STAR-LRP) is open for applications through Thursday, July 13, at 7:30 pm ET. STAR-LRP will pay up to $250,000 for six years of full employment at a STAR-LRP facility. For more information on applying or to find a STAR-LRP facility, please visit the STAR-LRP application website. LEARN MORE


House Bill 68 - Gender Affirming Care (a.k.a. Saving Adolescents from Experimentation (SAFE) Act)

OPPA among the more than 200 people/organizations to submit opponent testimony

The OPPA provided written testimony in opposition to House Bill 68 this week. As stated to lawmakers, "OPPA is committed to advocating for the mental health needs of all individuals, including individuals with Gender Dysphoria and their families . . . we do not believe anyone should be prevented from accessing gender-affirming treatments provided according to best practices defined by medical experts in the field."


OhioMHAS draft rules on psychiatric residential treatment facilities

Deadline to submit comments is June 7,, 2023

The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) is proposing to amend the following Ohio Administrative Code rules: Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facilities. OPPA members are encouraged to review the rules and submit comments if need be and copy OPPA @


OhioMHAS draft rules on seclusion and restraint, including mechanical retraint

Deadline to submit comments is June 16, 2023

The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) is proposing to adopt rules that amend the requirements for the provision of seclusion and restraint by certified providers. The rules have been submitted to the Common Sense Initiative (CSI) office for review; and comments regarding the rules can be submitted to OhioMHAS or directly to CSI. OPPA members are encouraged to submit comments if need be and copy OPPA @


ASAM and AAAP's jointly developed Clinical Guidelines on the Management of Stimulent Use Disorder

Deadline to submit comments is May 31, 2023

The public comment period closes in one week for the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) and American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (AAAP)’s jointly developed Clinical Practice Guideline on the Management of Stimulant Use Disorder.


Drug overdose deaths down in Ohio

New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found an estimated 109,680 overdose deaths occurred last year, according to numbers recently posted by the CDC. That’s about 2% more than the 107,622 U.S. overdose deaths in 2021, but nothing like the 30% increase seen in 2020, and 15% increase in 2021. Eight states, including Ohio, reported sizable overdose death decreases of about 100 or more compared with the previous calendar year.


May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental Health Awareness Month was established in 1949 to increase awareness of the importance of mental health and wellness in Americans’ lives and to celebrate recovery from mental illness. For the past 20 years, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has recognized Mental Health Awareness Month (MHAM) every May to increase awareness about the vital role mental health plays in our overall health and well-being. SAMHSA has a toolkit with information about how to help spread the word about May being Mental Health Awareness Month.


Medical board seeking first medical director

Deadline to apply is May 7, 2023

The State Medical Board of Ohio (SMBO) is seeking an experienced physician, who will step into a brand new role as the board’s first Medical Director. This position will work directly with the Executive Director and will have a pivotal role with the Board by providing medical knowledge and expertise in SMBO's day-to-day processes. This position will supervise portions of compliance, standards review and quality assurance and participate as a member of the senior leadership team among other assignments.


DEA-registered practitioners training requirement

On December 29, 2022, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 enacted a new one-time, eight-hour training requirement for all Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)-registered practitioners on the treatment and management of patients with opioid or other substance use disorders.


SAMHSA is recruiting grant reviewers

SAMHSA’s mission is to lead public health and service delivery efforts that promote mental health, prevent substance misuse, and provide treatments and supports to foster recovery while ensuring equitable access and better outcomes. The Division of Grant Review (DGR) is recruiting reviewers for fiscal year 2023 who have academic qualifications and professional work experience in mental health services, preventing substance misuse, and/or treating substance use disorder.


OPPA social event on Saturday evening, April 22, 2023

If you have already registered to attend OPPA's Annual Psychiatric Update on April 22-23, 2023, make sure you also signed up to attend the social event planned for Saturday evening, April 22.


OPPA thanks its members who attended Advocay Day at the statehouse on Mar. 29

OPPA members from all over Ohio gathered at the statehouse in Columbus on March 29, 2023 to meet with their legislators to advocate on behalf of their patients and the profession of psychiatry. OPPA members discussed with lawmakers a number of issues, including collaborative care, the need for additional psychiatric-residency training positions, medical marijuana and more. If you weren't able to attend, you can still get involved. Effective advocacy is not just a one-time event, it is something done on an ongoing basis as it's all about relationships. Reach out to Executive Director, Janet Shaw, to learn about how you can become involved.


In case you missed it: OhioMHAS Market Analysis Survey (closes on April 15)

The Ohio Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) is supporting the 2023 Behavioral Health Careers Education & Careers Awareness Market Analysis in Ohio communities. An independent research firm, Measurement Resources Company (MRC), has been contracted to conduct the market research. The results of the market analysis will provide OhioMHAS and its partners with a report of current awareness and perceptions of behavioral health career paths, the reasons employees in related fields are not entering the behavioral health field or why employees are leaving the field, and communication strategies for recruiting behavioral health workers.


New DEA education requirement on substance use disorders announced

The DEA has released guidance on the new one-time requirement for eight hours of training on the treatment and management of patients with opioid or other substance use disorders (SUDs).


Several bills introduced recently that OPPA will be advocating in support of or opposition to

There have been several bills re-introduced in the Ohio legislature over the past couple of weeks that OPPA will once again advocate for or against as it did during the last session. As a reminder with each new two-year General Assembly, any legislation that does not pass has to be reintroduced in the next General Assembly to be considered any further. The 135th GA began in January.


Ohio launches new data dashboards to report overdose, substance-use measures

Governor Mike DeWine announced that the state has launched new data dashboards to better track and report data on overdose deaths and other substance-use related measures for all 88 Ohio counties. These statewide dashboards were adopted and expanded from dashboards created through the National Institutes of Health-funded HEALing Communities Study – the largest implementation study ever conducted in addiction research.


Study: Black Americans Reply on ERs for MH Treatment

New research finds Black adults are more likely to visit emergency rooms (ER) when experiencing a mental health problem than white adults but face longer delays, and are less likely to be admitted to a hospital for treatment (Source: “Study: Black People Visit ER for Mental Health at Highest Rates,” U.S. News, March 1, 2023).


CMS awards new Medicare-funded residency slots

In case you missed it, in January, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services awarded the first 200 of 1,000 Medicare-funded residency slots meant to support the healthcare workforce and fund additional positions in hospitals serving underserved communities. Approximately three-quarters of the new positions will be for primary care and mental health specialties.


National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week - March 20-26, 2023

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism are gearing up for National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week® (NDAFW) 2023 to be held March 20-26. NIDA’s flagship health education observance, is held in partnership with the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). NDAFW is an annual, week-long health observance that inspires dialogue about the science of drug use and addiction among youth. NIDA offers a toolkit with promotion tips to help you plan and promote NDAFW-related events.