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The Psychiatric Society of Virginia is a district branch of the American Psychiatric Association, with over 500 member psychiatrists. PSV focuses its efforts on advocacy of mental health issues, the advancement of psychiatry, and service to the community.


Article: Patients With Mental Disorders Get Half Of All Opioid Prescriptions

COPN Reform – More Psychiatric Beds Needed at VHC

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2017 Performance to Avoid 2019 Penalties

Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)

This information is intended to provide psychiatrists with steps they can take to comply with MIPS requirements.

Do I have to report?

  • You have to complete qualified performance activities in 2017 to avoid a penalty in 2019 if you have over $30,000 in annual, Medicare Part B charges AND have more than 100 Part B Patients.
  • Not sure if you need to report based on the criteria above? Go to to look up your status using your NPI number.

The easiest way to complete performance activities in 2017 is by joining the APA’s Registry — which is free to APA members — and reports your MIPS information to CMS.   Sign up for PsychPRO (APA’s Registry) and use the Patient Portal to report patient Quality Measures.  You must sign up with PsychPRO by December 15, 2017 for the APA to be able to collect from you and report on your behalf, MIPS information to CMS.  The requirement is to report on one Quality Measure for your patients. APA encourages you to include a minimum of 20 patients to best position yourself to meet requirements.  

Do not wait past December 15, 2017 to join PsychPRO, you may still be able to complete the following Improvement Activity by December 31, 2017 to avoid a penalty. Once completed, you will need to submit your attestation between January 1 and March 31, 2018 using the CMS online portal availablethrough


Click here for more information

New APA Resource Helps Early Career Members on the non-clinical side of medicine
Your early career as a psychiatrist is an exhilarating time as you continue to develop your identity as a physician and explore new opportunities. It can also be challenging as you tackle the business side of medicine and manage your career. Your APA membership can help with business of medicine resources, professional development, and career management – now collected on one APA webpage.

‘Dreamland’ Author Takes an Opioid Epidemic Trip How did we get into the current opioid crisis?
Click here for the full story:

MSV Advocacy Champion Spotlight –Varun Choudhary, M.D.VarunChoudhary

By Sara Rose Wells, Assistant Director of Government Affairs

In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, the MSV Government Affairs team would like to highlight the advocacy efforts of Varun Choudhary, M.D., M.A., DFAPA, a forensic psychiatrist and Vice President of Medical Affairs with Magellan of Virginia.

Dr. Choudhary is a familiar face at MSV and the Virginia General Assembly, and his involvement with advocacy is exhaustive.  He serves on the MSV Legislative Committee and provides a necessary perspective at the Legislative Summit on mental health issues.  He attends MSV’s White Coats on Call lobby days and contributes to the MSVPAC.  His involvement certainly doesn’t stop there – he most recently was President of the Psychiatric Society of Virginia and served the Commonwealth in a variety of capacities, including the Governor’s Taskforce on Improving Mental Health Services, the Center for Behavioral Health and Justice Center Advisory Group, and the DMAS Substance Use Disorder Work Group.

His passion for improving how Virginia handles mental health treatment, especially when it comes to our correctional facilities, drives his activism.  When asked why physicians should get involved, Dr. Choudhary states, “There is underlying nobility in our profession that instills in us the desire to advocate for those to whom we provide care. This can range from interpersonal interactions to lobbying for changes on national level. This is most important during times of flux and change. It is at these moments when our patients, and our profession itself, can be most vulnerable. These are the times when proper guidance is the most valued commodity.”

The MSV Government Affairs team and MSVPAC extend their gratitude to Dr. Choudhary for his efforts and encourage you to follow his lead.  Consider making a contribution to MSVPAC today by visiting or sending a check, payable to MSVPAC, to 2924 Emerywood Pkwy, Suite 300, Richmond, VA 23294.

2016 End of Session Report
Psychiatric Society of Virginia

The 2016 Virginia General Assembly adjourned a day early this year. Sine Die was on Friday, March 11 and the legislators returned home after passing over 1,700 bills and sending a budget to Governor McAuliffe. It was a successful session, but certainly had its share of controversial issues. Legislation regarding the Certificate of Public Need Program was a hot topic this year, as well as the appointment of a judge to the Virginia Supreme Court. While these issues brought out partisan politics, we also saw the parties working collaboratively to advance good policy measures for Virginia. Governor McAuliffe and Republican leadership were able to work together to pass historic, compromise legislation regarding firearms. The Virginia General Assembly continues to be an example for the rest of the nation on how to govern effectively, despite political differences.

Below are bills of specific interest from the 2016 session:

HB 362 (Davis) Accident and sickness insurance; step therapy protocols, disclosure of information. Requires health insurers that limit coverage for prescription drugs through the use of a step therapy protocol to have in place a process for a prescribing provider to request an override of the protocol for a patient.

  • Continued until 2017 in the House of Delegates.

SB 331 ( DeSteph) Accident and sickness insurance; step therapy for psychiatric medications. Prohibits a health insurer or other carrier from using step therapy in a manner that results in a denial of or delay in coverage for any psychiatric medication under a health insurance policy or plan.

  • Failed to pass from the Commerce and Labor committee with a letter asking that the Bureau of Insurance look at this issue.

SB 332 (DeSteph) Accident and sickness insurance; step therapy protocols. Requires health benefit plans that restrict the use of any prescription drug through the use of a step therapy protocol to have in place a clear, convenient, and expeditious process for a prescribing medical provider to request an override of such restrictions for a patient.

  • Failed to pass from the Commerce and Labor committee with a letter asking that the Bureau of Insurance look at this issue.

HB 811 (Bell): Involuntary admission procedures; notification to family member about proceedings. After learning the time and location of a commitment hearing, the CSB must notify the personal representative of the person who is the subject of the hearing and their family member.

  •  The judge must consider any testimony or evidence presented by the personal representative or family member.
  •  This bill passed in the House of Delegates but failed to pass in the Senate.

HB 1110 (Bell) & SB 567 (Barker): Temporary detention; notice of recommendation, communication with magistrate. If a CSB does not recommend a TDO, they must notify the person who initiated the ECO and offer to help them communicate with the magistrate if the person disagrees with the CSB’s recommendation.

  •  Magistrate conducting a TDO hearing must consider information provided by the person who initiated an ECO.
  •  Both bills passed the General Assembly.

HB 1112 (Bell) & SB 568 (Barker): Involuntary admission; contents of preadmission screening report; notice of hearing.

  • The concept of these bills was incorporated into the above legislation.
  • Both bills died in their respective chambers.

Budget Items

Catawba State Hospital

  • The budget eliminates the language and associated funding in the introduced budget that directed DBHDS to begin the planning process to close Catawba.

Hancock Geriatric Treatment Center

  • The budget adds $250,000 the first year and language directing DBHDS to hire a consultant to begin the process to seek Medicaid certification of up to 40 beds at Hancock.

Mental Health Workforce

  • The budget requires DBHDS to conduct a study of ways to expand mental health and primary care professions that are trained to treat children’s mental health issues.
  •  The budget requires the Department of Health to collaborate with the VA Health Care Foundation, DBHDS, the state’s teaching hospitals and other stakeholders to develop a plan to increase the number of behavioral health practitioners in state and local behavioral health agencies and health safety net organizations through the use of a student loan repayment program.
  •  The language sets out provisions that the program include a preference for applicants to practice in underserved areas for at least two years.

Governor’s Access Plan (GAP)

  • The budget eliminates the money proposed for Medicaid expansion
  • The budget instead increases the eligibility threshold for people with serious mental illness to enroll in the GAP Plan from the current 60% to 80% of the Federal Poverty Level.

Substance Use Disorder Treatment

  • The budget also includes 22 million over the biennium to implement a comprehensive Medicaid benefit package for substance abuse treatment.


Participate in the “Refer a Colleague” initiative.  PSV receives $25 for every PSV member who refers a colleague to PRMS.

Risk Management Resolutions for 2017

 The Importance of Termination of the Treatment Relationship
A white paper on the importance of termination of the treatment relationship by PRMS
Click here to view

Employment Opportunities

For a complete up to date list click here.

Facebook Disclosure

You must be a member of PSV to join the Psychiatric Society of Virginia Facebook Group.