DPA - Delaware Psychological Association

Professional News

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  • May 07, 2020 2:19 PM | Kelly Wetzel (Administrator)

    HHS Extends Deadline for Attestation, Acceptance of Terms and Conditions for Provider Relief Fund Payments to 45 Days 

    The Department of Health and Human Services has extended the deadline for healthcare providers to attest to receipt of payments from the Provider Relief Fund and accept the Terms and Conditions. Providers will now have 45 days, increased from 30 days, from the date they receive a payment to attest and accept the Terms and Conditions or return the funds. As an example, the initial 30-day deadline for providers who received payment on April 10, 2020, is extended to May 24 from May 9, 2020. With the extension, not returning the payment within 45 days of receipt of payment will be viewed as acceptance of the Terms and Conditions. 

    President Trump is providing support to healthcare providers fighting the COVID-19 pandemic through the bipartisan CARES Act and Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act which provide $175 billion in relief funds to hospitals and other healthcare providers on the front lines of the coronavirus response. This funding will be used to support healthcare-related expenses or lost revenue attributable to COVID-19 and to ensure uninsured Americans can get treatment for COVID-19.

    In allocating the funds, the Administration is working, among other things, to address both the economic harm across the entire healthcare system due to the stoppage of elective procedures, and addressing the economic impact on providers particularly impacted by COVID-19, and to do so as quickly and transparently as possible.

    Visit hhs.gov/providerrelief for more information on the allocations. Recipients of payments from any of these allocations must attest and accept the Terms and Conditions within 45 days.

    • HHS is distributing $50 billion across the healthcare system to providers and facilities that bill Medicare.
    • Recognizing the financial strain from COVID-19 inpatient admissions, HHS is distributing $12 billion to hospitals that reported at least 100 COVID-19 inpatient admissions through April 10 to HHS.
    • HHS is distributing $10 billion to rural hospitals and clinics.
    • HHS is distributing $400 million to tribal healthcare providers.
    • HHS is using a portion of the Provider Relief Fund to reimburse healthcare providers, at Medicare rates, for COVID-related treatment of the uninsured.
    • HHS is working to provide relief to additional healthcare providers including skilled nursing facilities, dentists, and other providers significantly impacted by COVID-19.

  • April 29, 2020 10:05 AM | Kelly Wetzel (Administrator)

    Telehealth guidance by state during COVID-19

    State emergency orders relevant to licensed psychologists during the COVID-19 public health crisis.


    Status as of April 24, 2020

    Existing state telehealth coverage mandate? 

    YES for commercial health plans; requires reimbursement parity; and allows audio-only phone

    Del. Code Title 18, Ch. 33

    Emergency state action on telehealth reimbursement parity? 

    CMS Section 1135 Medicaid Waiver approved 3/27/20 allows for reimbursement of payable claims by out of state licensed providers not enrolled in the state Medicaid program subject to certain conditions for the duration of the public health emergency.**

    Emergency licensure waiver? 

    joint order issued 3/24/20 by the Department of Health and Human Services and Emergency Management Agency allows out-of-state mental health providers with an active license to provide in-person and telemedicine mental health services. Further, all mental health providers who held a Delaware license within the last 5 years which is now inactive, expired or lapsed may provide services.

    Online registration form is available.

    Supervised Trainee Telehealth Services – Telesupervision and Medicaid Reimbursement 

    Trainees are not eligible to provide telehealth services as they are not licensed in Delaware (and those performing services from other jurisdictions are required to have an active license elsewhere). Postdoctoral students licensed as Psychology Assistants would be eligible to perform services.

    For more information by state: https://www.apaservices.org/practice/clinic/covid-19-telehealth-state-summary

  • March 18, 2020 5:13 PM | Kelly Wetzel (Administrator)

    On March 6, President Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2020 (H.R. 6074, Public Law 116-123), which provides $8.3 billion in emergency funding, including a provision that allows the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to waive Medicare telehealth restrictions during the coronavirus outbreak so that patients can receive care no matter where they are located, including at home.

    House sponsors of the CONNECT for Health Act, another bill that would waive telehealth reimbursement restrictions during national emergencies, sent a letter last week to HHS Secretary Alex Azar urging the expeditious waiver implementation and guidance, as did Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee.

    On March 17, HHS waived key restrictions and issued public guidance on that waiver. Notably, the guidance allows Medicare patients to receive telehealth services in their homes and permits psychologists to provide services to both existing and new Medicare patients allowing for greater service delivery than what was enacted into law. Providers can use telephones for patient services as long as they are equipped with audio and video capabilities that enable two-way, real-time interactive communication. The Office of Civil Rights at HHS announced it would waive penalties for potential HIPAA violations during this public health emergency.

    APA will be releasing more details on these waivers as soon as possible. In addition, APA will continue to advocate for increasing patient access to telehealth services at the federal and state level so that psychologists can provide essential mental health care.


    APA applauds the House and Senate sponsors of the APA-supported CONNECT for Health Act—Sens. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) and Reps. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.), Peter Welch (D-Vt.), David Schweikert (R-Ariz.) and Bill Johnson (R-Ohio) for securing elements of their telehealth bill in the coronavirus response package.

    For more information, contact Laurel Stine, JD, at lstine@apa.org and Deborah Baker, JD, at dbaker@apa.org.


  • March 16, 2020 4:04 PM | Kelly Wetzel (Administrator)

    This is a virtual event, accessible online and over the phone. Access instructions will be provided after registration.


    The benefits and importance of being able to provide effective remote services to clients as well as keep an office running with staff is becoming more apparent as technologies improve, and potential risks such as severe seasonal influenza or coronavirus make remote provision of telehealth services and telecommuting more critical. Recent federal, state and employer telehealth rules for telehealth as well as employer telecommuting policies are being relaxed to comply with calls for emergency social distancing.

    This 2-hour webinar will address how you can effectively deliver telehealth from home and/or keep your office going when staff needs to stay home for everyone's safety. The material will include clinical, legal, ethical and practical issues regarding adopting cooperative yet appropriate attitudes; setting limits on distractions with oneself; communicating with family, friends, and co-workers to establish clear boundaries; accountability with office-mates and staff; attending to legal and ethical issues when working from home, including how to think about a home workspace to prevent the unprofessional sharing of inappropriate personal information; the need for sitters; and selecting the right technology tools to maximize productivity. The session will outline several viable telehealth models commonly used by home-based telepractitioners to comply with legal and ethical mandates, document their evidence-base, and get paid. Telecommuting tips and strategies will also be outlined.

    Learning Objectives:

    • Intelligently discuss the broad pros and cons of working from your home.
    • Identify three specific ethical issues that are of relevance when working from your home.
    • List at least one legal issue that may be of relevance when working from home.


    Marlene M. Maheu, PhD 

    Marlene M. Maheu, PhD has been a technologist-psychologist and pioneer since 1994. She has served various organizations to assist with the development of technology-focused standards and guidelines, including the American Telemedicine Association, the American Psychological Association and the American Counseling Association. She has overseen the development and delivery of telehealth training to more than 26,000 professionals worldwide and consulted with hundreds of hospitals, clinics, agencies, groups and independent practitioners seeking start-up guidance.

    Dr. Maheu serves as the Founder & Executive Director of the Telebehavioral Health Institute, which offers over 64 hours of both basic and advanced telehealth training online and offering two Micro Certifications Telehealth. She is the CEO for the non-profit Coalition for Technology in Behavioral Science (CTiBS). She has authored five telehealth textbooks, including the Telebehavioral Health: Foundations in Theory & Practice for Graduate Learners (2020); the APA-published, A Practitioner's Guide to Telemental Health: How to Conduct Legal, Ethical and Evidence-Based Telepractice (2016), and Career Paths in Telemental Health (2016). Her insights will help you not only get started, but thrive with legal and ethical telehealth.

    Visit link for more information and to register: 


  • March 10, 2020 4:31 PM | Kelly Wetzel (Administrator)

    Resource List

    Organizational Preparedness in a Pandemic Environment

    Nancy Gordon Moore, PhD, MBA

    March 6, 2020

    Business Planning

    Pandemic Influenza Business Continuity Template (for mid-large size organizations.)


     Getting your workplace ready



    Get your workplace ready for pandemic flu (includes links to additional resources)



    Business Continuity Plan



    Preparing for the Flu (including 2009 H1N1 Flu): A Communication Toolkit for Businesses and Employers, from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services  http://www.cdc.gov/H1N1flu/business/toolkit/pdf/Business_Toolkit.pdf


    Business Guidance



    Pandemic Flu Checklist for Workplace Administrators http://www.cdc.gov/nonpharmaceutical-interventions/communication/pdf/pandemic-flu-checklist-workplace-administrators.pdf


    HR Pandemic Toolkit



    Risk Assessment Guidance for employers



    Risk Assessment flow chart 



    Event Management

    Getting Ready for Pandemic Flu for Event Planners



    Event Planners Checklist



    Community Event Planning



    Force Majeure


    Travel Guidance

    CDC FAQ for Travelers



    CDC Travel Guidance



    Travel: the 2 seat rule (with graph)


    CDC Factsheets and Posters

    CDC Factsheets Do Your Part to Slow the Spread of Flu



    CDC Posters  

    Do Your Part to Slow the Spread of Germs http://www.cdc.gov/nonpharmaceutical-interventions/communication/pdf/do-your-part-slow-spread-germs-poster.pdf Dont Spread Germs at Work http://www.cdc.gov/nonpharmaceutical-interventions/pdf/dont-spread-germs-work-item3.pdf

    Dont Spread Germs at Work (with Message to Employers) http://www.cdc.gov/nonpharmaceutical-interventions/pdf/dont-spread-germs-work-employers-item2.pdf

    Stay Home If Youre Sick http://www.cdc.gov/nonpharmaceutical-interventions/pdf/stay-home-youre-sick-item5.pdf

    Stay Home If Youre Sick (with Message to Employers) http://www.cdc.gov/nonpharmaceutical-interventions/pdf/stay-home-youre-sick-employers-item4.pdf

    Everyday Preventive Actions http://www.cdc.gov/flu/pdf/freeresources/family/flubreak-poster.pdf

    Take 3Actions to Fight the Flu http://www.cdc.gov/flu/pdf/freeresources/general/take3-poster.pdf


    General Resources

    World Health Organization Coronavirus



    CDC Coronavirus



    Directory of State and Territorial Health Depts



    John Hopkins real-time COVID-19 MAP



    Washington Post Coronavirus MAP US



    What to do if you are sick with COVID-19



    Sign up for email or text alerts from CDC



  • February 26, 2020 9:39 PM | Kelly Wetzel (Administrator)

    Join us for the 3rd Annual Wellness Summit, hosted by the Siegel JCC & JFS Delaware, and continue the conversation on mental health. This event is FREE and open to the public (please reserve your FREE ticket). Refreshments will be provided.

    TALK ABOUT IT! Do you have questions about:
    - Depression, anxiety, addiction? 
    - Where to get help for yourself, your friend, your loved one?

    Learn to NAVIGATE MENTAL HEALTH by TALKING IT OUT with experts in the field and individuals who have experience challenges first-hand:

    - Jordan from Minding Your Mind
    - Wesley & Annie from NAMI Delaware
    - Dr. Meghan Walls, PsyD, from Nemours Children's Health System
    - Sarah Robins, LCSW, from JFS Delaware
    - Dr. Darren Levin, PhD, certified school psychology
    - Sandra Brisiel, trauma informed care
    - Stan Silver from MeadowWood Behavioral Health Hospital
    - Mike Gavula from Rockford Center
    - K-9 Officer Andrew Conine from the City of Wilmington Police Department
    - The Co-Chairs of the Parents of Transgender Kids Support Group

    Teens are welcome to attend a session tailored just for them OR participate with their parents in the adult session. 

    The evening will include:

    - Psychology 101 introduction
    - Introduction of panelists
    - Deconstructed panel with the opportunity to move around tables between panelists
    - Wrap-up including key topics of conversation from the deconstructed panel

    Here is all the information you will need for the event.

    • The Resource Fair will run from 6:00 – 7:00 pm on Monday, March 2nd, concurrently with registration for the event. 
    • The JCC is located at 101 Garden of Eden Road, Wilmington.  (Behind the CVS on the corner of Route 202 South and Garden of Eden Road.)  
    • Parking is available all around the JCC.
    • We will have volunteers starting to usher our event participants to their respective rooms beginning at 6:45 so that we can start the program on time.
  • February 26, 2020 3:52 PM | Kelly Wetzel (Administrator)

    DPA members: 

    Please consider attending one of the upcoming Town Hall meetings for the Lt. Governor's Behavioral Health Consortium. This is a great opportunity to learn about the accomplishments of this group and to be a voice at the conversations about ongoing initiatives and opportunities. I plan to attend the meeting for New Castle County and I look forward to seeing many of you there!

    Please see below for more information about BHC and visit the website to review past meeting minutes: https://ltgov.delaware.gov/behavioral-health-consortium/

    The Behavioral Health Consortium is an advisory body comprised of community advocates, law enforcement, healthcare professionals, and state leaders that will assess and outline an integrated plan for action to address prevention, treatment, and recovery for mental health, substance use, and co-occurring disorders. The consortium will develop short-term and long-term strategies and initiatives to address the major addiction and mental health challenges we face in Delaware.

    Malina Spirito, Psy.D., M.Ed.

    Licensed Psychologist

    Delaware Psychological Association

    Executive Council-President

    BHC Sussex Forum.pdf

    BHC NCC Forum.pdf

    BHC Kent Forum.pdf

  • November 14, 2019 2:46 PM | Kelly Wetzel (Administrator)

    Beginning Jan. 1, 2020, psychologists will receive higher payments for providing treatment to Medicare patients who receive services for coping with or managing a physical health condition.

    APA had been strongly advocating for changes to psychologists’ payments for these treatments—billed as Health Behavior Assessment and Intervention (HBAI) services—to more accurately represent current clinical practice. As part of its advocacy, APA urged psychologists to submit comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in support of a new coding structure for HBAI services and proposed value increases (see chart below).

    CMS listened. They accepted APA’s recommendations and issued their approval of the rate increases in the agency’s 2020 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Final Rule, released Nov. 1. 

    CMS noticed psychologists’ efforts, stating in the final rule that the “total number of comments for the HBAI CPT codes are from Psychologists who are uniformly pleased to see that CMS has accepted all of the AMA RUC’s recommended increases for the Health Behavior Assessment and Intervention (HBAI) services....” 

    “The rate increases are strong evidence that CMS recognizes the importance of addressing the psychological factors that affect patients’ physical health problems. The new HBAI code set will make it financially more sustainable for psychologists to provide HBAI services and expand access to psychological care for patients with physical health conditions,” says APA Chief of Professional Practice Jared Skillings, PhD, ABPP. 

    Although CMS accepted APA’s recommended values, Medicare will still not cover Health Behavior Family Intervention services offered without the patient being present. 

    APA will continue to review and analyze the 2,500-page final rule and provide further details on payment policies and other issues that psychologists need to be aware of in the next issue of “PracticeUpdate.” 

    Visit APA Services’ Reimbursement webpage for more information and updated resources related to HBAI and other coding and billing issues.

    Article published Nov. 7, 2019

    Finalized coding changes and work RVUs for HBAI services in 2020

    CPT ® Code

    Code Descriptor

    2020 wRVU

    Health Behavior Assessment Services

    Assessment or Re-Assessment


    Health behavior assessment or re-assessment (i.e., health-focused clinical interview, behavioral observations, clinical decision making)


    Health Behavior Intervention Services

    Individual Intervention


    Health behavior intervention, individual, face-to-face; initial 30 minutes


    ✚ 96159

    Each additional 15 minutes (List separately in addition to code for primary procedure)


    Group Intervention


    Health behavior intervention, group (2 or more patients), face-to-face; initial 30 minutes


    ✚ 96165

    Each additional 15 minutes (List separately in addition to code for primary procedure)


    Family Intervention with Patient Present


    Health behavior intervention, family (with the patient present), face-to-face; initial 30 minutes


    ✚ 96168

    Each additional 15 minutes (List separately in addition to code for primary procedure)


    Family Intervention without Patient Present


    Health behavior intervention, family (without the patient present), face-to-face; initial 30 minutes



    Each additional 15 minutes (List separately in addition to code for primary procedure)


    “ ✚ ” Indicates an Add-On Code to be reported with primary service/base code

  • September 09, 2019 2:41 PM | Kelly Wetzel (Administrator)

    Delaware Joins the Psychology Interjurisdicational Compact (PSYPACT).

    On July 4, 2019, Governor Carney signed into law House Bill 172. This change in the law enters Delaware into PSYPACT, allowing Delaware licensed psychologists who wish to practice psychology in another compact state via telepsychology. For more information on PSYPACT, including which other states are members of PSYPACT, go to  www.psypact.org.


    The Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact Commission has published Proposed Rules for consideration and comment. The Proposed Rules can be found HERE.

    These Proposed Rules are open for a period of 60 days for public comment for those stakeholders interested in providing such comment. The deadline for submission of written comments is September 30, 2019.

    Written comments should be submitted via the public comment form found on the PSYPACT website (www.psypact.org) and submitted to the PSYPACT Commission no later than 5:00 pm EST on September 30, 2019.

    A public hearing will be conducted via Zoom on October 1, 2019 beginning at 3:00 pm EST. Interested parties may participate and notification will be posted to the PSYPACT website (www.psypact.org) 30 days prior to the meeting with call -in information provided.

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