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Mental Health Payment Parity for NPs and CNSs: Get Involved!

Oregon’s Nurse Practitioners and Clinical Nurse Specialists provide mental health treatment to a growing portion of our population. Cuts in reimbursement rates for mental health services performed by "non-physician” providers limit access to these services and underscore the need to require equal pay for equal work.

With the help of State Representative Tina Kotek (D-Portland), and State Representative Bill Kennemer (R-Oregon City) ONA has introduced legislation that would require insurers to reimburse providers equal rates when they perform equal services. For example, if this legislation passes, a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) who bills under the same codes as a physician for mental health service, would be reimbursed the same rate as the physician. This would comply with the spirit of Oregon’s Mental Health Parity Law, and would increase access to Mental Health Services.

This bill has a hearing on March 9, and will need to have support from nurses in order to move forward. Many of you already helped out this Fall by completing a survey on reimbursement rates. Now that there is a bill in legislature, we need you to write to your legislators and share your story. Make sure to include the impact that the cuts have had on your practice, and the impact this has had on access to mental health services in your area. Don’t forget to encourage them to support HB 3028 to improve access to Mental Health Services.


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