Solutions for Access to Care

All Ohioans should have ready access to patient-centered behavioral health care services. Mental health and addiction providers work as part of a team and with innovative approaches, to meet the growing need in all parts of Ohio. Every member of this team is important and provides a specific expertise.

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Psychologists play an important role in the patient-centered, team-based approach to care, however, their training is in the study of psychology and human behavior. What is being proposed in HB 326 is not adequate medical training (as required of other behavioral health prescribers) to safely prescribe medications.

There are safe alternatives to increase access to behavioral health care:

Establishing more integrated/ collaborative models of care through a team-based approach, led by primary care physicians, and includes care managers, psychiatrists, and frequently other mental health professionals, to expand care and treatment.

Utilizing telemedicine (including telepsychiatry) to connect people with mental health and addiction treat-ment services anywhere in the state through telecom-munications technology. By passing HB 546 lawmakers in Ohio can help to expand the use of telemedicine.

It has been a decade since Congress passed the law to mental health (MH) and substance use treatment just as easy to get as care for any other condition. Yet today, amid an opioid epidemic and a spike in the suicide rate, patients are still struggling to get access to treatment. MH Parity must be enforced for insurance plans in Ohio.

Increasing the number of psychiatric residency training positions, along with increasing the number of APRNs (in collaboration with a physician) and PAs (under supervision by a physician) to prescribe behavioral health medications.