Advocacy E-News December 5, 2014
December 5, 2014
DEADLINE FOR N.J. EMPLOYEES TO RESUBMIT MENTAL HEALTH CLAIMS
State workers and public school employees who believe their insurance carrier shortchanged their reimbursement for mental health treatment over the last five years face a Dec. 31 deadline to apply for additional payments, according to a notice posted to the New Jersey Department of Treasury website. “The State Health Benefits Program (SHBP) and School Employees’ Health Benefit Program (SEHBP) Commissions have directed Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield to reconsider certain out of network claims for professional behavioral health services, reimbursed between May 4, 2009 and March 23, 2014.” according to the notice on Treasury’s website. “If you received reimbursement for behavioral health claims for services provided by an out of network provider, during the time frame noted, you may be entitled to a reconsideration of your claim.”
The notice includes a link to a form members must submit.
Inquiries may be made by calling 1-844-296-1421.
CHECKING IN ON YOUR COLLEGE STUDENT’S MENTAL HEALTH
College can be an exciting time, but it can also be overwhelming and stressful. Depression, anxiety, substance use, and eating disorders are common mental health issues on college campuses. The winter break can be an important time to notice if your college student is displaying any signs of mental health issues. When your son or daughter comes home for the holidays, check in with them for signs of depression, anxiety, or other mental health disorders. Ask questions about their academic and social life at school, and listen carefully to what they say, or don’t say.
COURT GRANTS PRISONER WITH A MENTAL ILLNESS EXECUTION REPRIEVE
A federal appeals court halted Wednesday’s scheduled execution of a Texas killer whose attempt to subpoena Jesus Christ as a trial witness and other behavior led his attorneys to argue he is too mentally ill for capital punishment. Scott Panetti, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia some 14 years before fatally shooting his estranged wife’s parents in 1992, was granted the reprieve less than eight hours before he was set to receive a lethal injection. In stopping the execution, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals acknowledged the legal complexity of putting a mentally ill inmate to death.
RVCC TO OFFER FREE BEHAVIORAL HEALTH CERTIFICATION
A new federal grant will enable Raritan Valley Community College to offer free training to paraprofessionals who work with youth and young adults dealing with behavioral health disorders. The 12-month program is designed to train paraprofessionals working with young people ages 16-25 in Somerset or Hunterdon County who are at-risk for developing or who have already developed a recognized behavioral health disorder. These conditions may include both mental health and substance abuse. Students interested in the program may begin coursework in January. All of the courses in the new Certificate program can be applied directly toward the completion of a transferrable Associate Degree within two years.
N.J. PSYCHIATRISTS FIGHT BILL GIVING PSYCHOLOGISTS RX RIGHTS
Psychiatrists in New Jersey have launched an online campaign they hope will torpedo “risky” legislation that gives psychologists the authority to write prescriptions. The New Jersey Psychiatric Association unveiled a new website, ProtectNJpatients.com, that explains why the state legislature, the governor and the public should oppose the bill that passed the Assembly in June. Psychiatrists, who are all medical doctors, as well as physician assistants and advance practice nurses are permitted to prescribe medication. But psychologists have long pushed for this right. The bill, if approved, would extend the power to psychologists who hold a post-doctoral degree in psychopharmacology or have an equivalent level of training deemed acceptable by the Board of Psychological Examiners, according to the bill.
OCEAN COUNTY POLICE TRAIN TO HANDLE MENTAL ILLNESS
It’s a tense situation and one of several that Ocean County police officers role-played at the conclusion of a week of training to better deal with people with mental health issues.
“This training will protect both the officer and the public from unnecessary confrontation,” Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato said.