DPA - Delaware Psychological Association

State Advocacy Report from January 2017

February 24, 2017 2:52 PM | Kelly Wetzel (Administrator)

The State Advocacy Committee continues to work diligently in advocating for and addressing the needs of DE behavioral health providers and their patients. Please review the latest updates below to keep you informed. If you have questions or concerns that you would like to discuss, please feel free to reach out to either of the State Advocacy Committee members (contact information is below).

Critical Incident Reporting re: Highmark Health Options Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) of Delaware

In an effort to gain clear, concise directives regarding critical incident reporting, State Advocacy Committee Chairperson Traci Bolander, PsyD, has been in ongoing communication with the Director of Clinical and Services Quality of Highmark Health Options, (hereafter referred to as “director”). A written statement was issued by the director indicating that behavioral health practitioners should maintain current ethical practice and licensing board requirements by reporting critical incidents to the appropriate state agency. The Advocacy Committee is awaiting a written response from the director regarding the behavioral health practitioners’ responsibility in notifying Highmark Health Options about critical incidents as well; this matter is currently under internal review within Highmark Health Options BCBS of Delaware.

Blue Cross Audit Letters

Approximately 2-3 months ago, various DPA members received notice from Change Healthcare (a contracted company who reviews coding documentation for Blue Cross) suggesting that the respective provider has billed high level codes (e.g. 90837) significantly more frequently than other providers within the same specialty. Traci is involved in ongoing meetings with the Blue Cross Director of Provider Relationships to determine the level of provider responsibility and potential consequences regarding the audit.

DE Behavioral Health Electronic Medical Record (EMR) Incentive Program—New Updates

The second call for proposals did not result in any new applicants. There were five respondents to the initial call for proposals, all of whom were granted EMR contracts to support their respective EMR integration plan.

Seeking a Behavioral Health Integration (BHI) Program Manager

DCHI will launch BHI projects throughout the state in February 2017, and a program manager is needed to help oversee successful implementation of the BHI project. If you are interested in this position, please reach out to Traci Bolander, PsyD at tbolander@midatlanticbh.com

Changing of the Guards – Farewell to Rita Landgraf

Rita Landgraf, former Delaware Health Secretary was a large proponent of Behavioral Health Integration (BHI) in the state of Delaware, and she will be sorely missed. The DPA Advocacy committee would like to publicly thank Rita for her tireless efforts in advocating for BHI and ultimately increased access to behavioral health care.

Newly elected Health Secretary, Kara Odom Walker, MD, MPH, MSHS, a medical physician and public health specialist by trade, has contributed substantial efforts to the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute in Washington, DC. Secretary Odom is highly respected, and will serve on the DCHI board to further support BHI.

Stay Alert, Stay Aware

Behavioral health providers are encouraged to be aware of governmental changes that could affect access to care and fees schedules for providers, given the current budget deficit in DE. Additionally, Aetna health insurance plan will represent a larger number of DE patients going forward.

Stay Tuned

Our Executive Director, Kelly Wetzel, MSW will be meeting with the committee on child welfare policy for the state of DE to discuss and clarify reporting responsibilities for DE psychologists.

Traci Bolander, PsyD – Committee Chair


Danika Perry, PsyD – Committee Co-Chair


Angela Nicole Serravalle - Member


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