February 2020
Pennsylvania Provider Survey on Parity: Gov. Wolf Needs to Hear from PaPS!

Governor Tom Wolf announced that the Pennsylvania Insurance Department is surveying providers about their experiences with barriers to mental health and substance use disorder treatment. You should have received the survey to the e-mail address you provided to the Department of State through the licensing process. The Insurance Department will be accepting survey responses through March 4, 2020. If you haven’t received your survey or for more information, you can e-mail: RA-IN-Parity-PID@pa.gov .

This provider survey is part of the Governor’s Reach Out PA: Your Mental Health Matters   initiative, a statewide campaign that seeks to educate and empower Pennsylvania providers and consumers about consumer rights under state and federal parity laws. The survey requests specific instances regarding complaints providers have heard from their patients about barriers to access. The survey also includes questions about providers’ experiences with barriers to treatment and problems with reimbursement for mental health and substance use disorder services.

Make your voice heard by March 4 th !
2019 Dues Deductibility

APA and PaPS dues generally are deductible on your federal income tax return as a business expense. Under federal law, however, that portion of your dues used to support federally-defined lobbying expenses is NOT deductible. For 2019 the non-deductible portion of your PaPS dues is 29%.
PPP-PAC Donations
The Pennsylvania Psychiatric Physicians' Political Action Committee (PPP-PAC) is the political arm of the Pennsylvania Psychiatric Society. PPP-PAC is made up of members of the Pennsylvania Psychiatric Society who are interested in making a positive contribution to the medical profession through the political process. PPP-PAC supports pro-medicine candidates running for the Pennsylvania state legislature or statewide office.
Pennsylvania Medicaid implements uniform Preferred Drug List (PDL): Important Information/Solicitation of Input

The Commonwealth’s Department of Human Services (DHS) commenced a statewide uniform PDL on January 1, 2020. These changes were published in previous Society communications prior to its enactment. The newly enacted PDL and revised prior authorization guidelines for these prescribed medications pertain to those Medicaid enrollees within the state’s Fee-for-Service program (FFS) and the Medical Assistance managed care organizations within Health Choices and the Community Health Choices (CHC) program. Information is available via www.papdl.com .
Information about the PDL, prior authorization guidelines and pertinent information is available at https://www.dhs.pa.gov/providers/Pharmacy-Services/Pages/Preferred-Drug-List.aspx . NOTE: If there is a lag in enrollees receiving medication while providers wait for prior authorization approvals, a temporary 15-day supply is supposed to be available at the pharmacy.

Concerns Since Implementation/Solicitation of Information
Since the implementation of these new procedures, we have heard from various members about problems with obtaining prior authorizations for certain medications (including stimulants), additional requirements to obtain prior authorizations for patients on existing medications, and/or new prior authorizations never previously required for certain Medication Assisted Treatment medications used to assist individuals in their recovery. Many of you have contacted Terri Cathers, Pharm.D., DHS Pharmacy Director directly to express your concerns or provide details about difficulties you have encountered in obtaining prior authorizations for patient medications.

The Society can act as an intermediary for members and DHS when problems arise during the prior authorization process. Our clinical committee works closely with our executive director to obtain and compile member information that can be sent to DHS to provide temporary remedies and permanent solutions. If you are encountering problems, please send detailed, redacted information to our office via email ( dshoemaker@pamedsoc.org ). If you contact Ms. Cathers directly, please cc Deb so that we can keep on top of the outcome.

Thanks for your dedication to your patients, their families and to our Society. Please contact us if you need more information. 
Plan to Join Us in Celebrating Pennsylvania Psychiatry
APA Reception
hosted by
Pennsylvania Psychiatric Society
Monday, April 27, 2020
7:00 - 9:00 pm
Philadelphia Marriott Downtown
1201 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Additional details to follow in the next few weeks.