OPA LEGISLATIVE STRATEGIES
Why do Oklahomans not have access to the care they seek and deserve?
Why do psychologists continue to encounter barriers when treating/seeing patients/Oklahomans?
Below is a list of barriers faced by Oklahoma psychologists. Oklahoma ranks 3rd in the nation for mental illness and 2nd in the nation for substance abuse disorders.
Help us help OKLAHOMANS with behavioral health needs. Our people need us now more than ever!
2022 Oklahoma Psychological Association Legislative Strategies
2022 OPA LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES
Oklahoma is in a mental health crisis. We were already in this crisis state before Covid-19, but since the arrival of the pandemic this crisis has only compounded. Citizens in our state are suffering because there is a lack of access to mental health providers (like psychologists) and a lack of parity between mental health and other practices.
The state has put up artificial hurdles that need to come down to give our citizen’s access to services, which is the only way to increase outcomes. The fixes will not come overnight as this depression of mental health providers like psychologists has led to a huge shortage. In order to increase access, we need to not only take down barriers, but increase the psychological workforce.
Oklahoma Psychologists are the lowest earning of all psychologists in our region of the country. This further adds to our workforce problems as even those we graduate will find higher paying opportunities out of state. This is in large part due to b a rriers which limit p a tie n ts’ a b ilit y to see us and a lack of parity in reimbursement from both the state and private insurers that further inhibit our ability to attract and retain psychologists.
✓ Remove barriers
o Allow adult Medicaid members to see psychologists
✓ Increase workforce
o Increase provider rates, increase access
o Incentivize/promote working in rural OK
o Increase number of faculty training psychologists
o Reimbursement parity across all practice areas
o Making sure psychologists are accessible through telehealth solutions
✓ Increased state reimbursement
o Support the ODMHSAS & OHCA in their push to restore previous mental health provider rate cuts
o Mental health rates have not been restored in previous years like other areas
✓ Include psychologist in state definition of physician
o By not including us in the state’s definition that includes 7 other practice areas we limit psychologists’ ability to practice, harming the state’s mental health apparatus by depressing our highest-level providers
✓ Private insurer reimbursement parity
o Ensure private insurers are complying with state and federal mental health payment parity laws
3. MANAGED CARE
✓ OPA supports the legislature and the Governor in their push to reform our state’s Medicaid delivery away from traditional fee for service model. We further support those who would like to see the state bolster its managed care capabilities further at the OHCA and OPA is excited to work with the state as they develop their new care model to look for ways to leverage psychologist’s expertise in ways the state has not before.