Latest News


OPPA signs onto coalition proponent testimony on House Bill 452 - efforts to address violence against heathcare providers

House Bill 452 requires each hospital system, and each hospital that is not part of a hospital system, to establish a security plan for preventing workplace violence and managing aggressive behaviors. The hospital system or hospital making the plan must involve a team of health care employees who provide direct patient care. The bill also includes reporting requirements.


New innovative tool generates customized 988 materials for Ohio communities

Just ahead of the two-year anniversary of the launch of the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline in Ohio, a new tool has been created to allow anyone throughout the state to design free, customized 988 materials that can be shared within their communities. The easy-to-use OHIO988 Materials Generator will help stakeholders and individuals throughout Ohio to create handouts, posters, and social media graphics with messaging and visuals that can be tailored to their respective audience.


OPPA sends Action Alert to members to take action to oppose Senate Bill 60

Please contact your legislators if you haven't already done so

OPPA (and other physician groups in Ohio) sent out a Call to Action in opposition of Senate Bill 60 that would establish licensure by the State Medical Board for a new allied practitioner: a certified mental health assistants (CMHAs). The legislation does not outline any education and training requirements for this new practitioner and would give them prescriptive authority. The Ohio Senate is poised to vote on this legislation in the coming weeks and OPPA needs your help. Please follow the instructions to send a letter to your Senator and Representative and urge them NOT to support SB 60. It will only take a few moments of your time, and it is critical that your legislators hear from you that while Ohio physicians understand and share the common goal of addressing the increased need for mental health care services across the state – this proposal is NOT the solution!


OPPA Advocacy Day at the Statehouse - Register Today!

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Join your colleagues and register today to attend the 2024 OPPA Advocacy Day at the Statehouse. Let your voice be heard in meeting one-on-one with your State Representative and State Senator. OPPA will schedule the meetings for you, provide you with Issue Briefs and key talking points on one or two priority pieces of legislation. It's never been more important to advocate on behalf of your patients and your profession!


New officers hit the ground running!

The 2024 officers of OPPA took office on May 8 and wasted no time taking action on several key issues, representing the organization in important meetings with stakeholders, appointing new committees and chairs, as well as advocating on several important pieces of legislation.


APA Course of the Month: Psychopharmacology Master Class: The Art of Psychopharmacology

Each month, APA members have free access to an on-demand CME course in the APA Learning Center. The May course will address the science of the art of psychopharmacology – highlighting the importance of the doctor-patient relationship, the importance of a patient-centered evaluation, prescribing decisions that facilitate the patient's healthy use of treatment, common errors in prescribing and more. Click here to access the Course of the Month and sign up for updates about this free member benefit.


In addressing maternal mortality, mental health often left out

As reported recently in Psychiatric News, Mental health conditions are the leading underlying cause of maternal mortality, yet mental health is often left out of national initiatives to improve maternal outcomes. Experts say much more needs to be done, including gathering data to better understand the significance of the problem.


APA Course of the Month: Digital Health Technologies

Each month, APA members have free access to an on-demand CME course in the APA Learning Center. The March course explores digital health technologies, which have great potential to increase access to treatment, improve health outcomes, and help decrease stigma. The potential benefits of digital interventions as well as ethical, regulatory, reimbursement, and social concerns will also be discussed.


OSAM Network releases new OSAM-O-GRAM

The Ohio Substance Abuse Monitoring (OSAM) Network has announced the release of its latest OSAM-O-Gram, Stimulant Use, Race, and Naloxone Awareness, now available on the OhioMHAS website. This brief discusses fentanyl-adulterated stimulants and highlights Naloxone awareness and experiences.


HPIO Online Forum: The State of Ohio’s Health: 2024 Health Value Dashboard — April 11

Join the Health Policy Institute of Ohio (HPIO) on April 11 from 11:30 a.m-1:00 p.m. for an online forum to learn about the policy priorities to improve health value that are included in HPIO’s sixth edition of the Health Value Dashboard, which will be released April 9.


April is National Minority Health Month

April is National Minority Health Month (NMHM), a time to raise awareness about health disparities that continue to affect people from racial and ethnic minority groups and encourage action through health education, early detection, and control of disease complications.


SB 60 was pulled from the docket for a possible vote

Senate Bill (SB) 60, a bill creating a Certified Mental Health Assistant (CMHA) role with prescriptive authority, was scheduled for a sixth hearing, with a possible vote to pass out of the Senate Workforce and Higher Education Committee on Wednesday, February 28 at 11 a.m. However, that bill was removed from the committee docket on the morning of the 28th. This was the result of the advocacy efforts of OPPA and other coalition partners including, OSMA and OAFP asking their members to reach out to their legislators and ask that they vote no on the bill.


SMBO launches sexual misconduct page

The State Medical Board of Ohio is committed to prioritizing the safe handling of sexual misconduct complaints to ensure the public is protected from dangerous providers. This month, the Medical Board published a new page on the SMBO website that highlights the importance of reporting sexual misconduct and explains the tools used to properly address the complaints.


SMBO needs medical experts to review medical marijuana petitions

The State Medical Board of Ohio is seeking qualified medical experts to review petitions. If these petitions are approved, they will be added as qualifying conditions to the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program. If you are interested in becoming a subject matter expert reviewer, please submit a completed questionnaire.


Supporting Mental Health of Black Children and Youth

Developing a Better Understanding

The Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health Authorities released its February one-pager entitled “Supporting Mental Health of Black Children and Youth” provides facts on the mental health struggles that face the demographic. For African American children and adolescents coping with the risk or reality of serious emotional disturbances, the world we live in can be a particularly painful and dangerous place. Along with the normal developmental struggles and social/emotional turmoil of childhood and adolescence.


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.