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Advocacy Researcher

NH Psychological Association

The New Hampshire Psychological Association (NHPA) is the professional trade association for psychologists in New Hampshire and is centrally located in Concord, New Hampshire - one hour from Boston, the seacoast, and the White Mountains. For over 50 years NHPA has been the voice of psychologists in the state of New Hampshire and a champion of the mental health community. NHPA is dedicated to the development of psychology as a science, a profession, and a means of promoting human welfare.


The Advocacy Researcher is a grant funded position that will be a part time, temporary contracted position for the New Hampshire Psychological Association.  The Researcher will perform data collection specific to the topics covered in Senate Bill 115 and the Commission charged with producing recommendations for legislation on helping mental health practices to thrive in the State.  Secondary to SB 115, research will also support House Bill 131 which created a Commission to submit recommendations for proposed legislation on establishing a culture of mental health in public schools for all grade levels in K-12.  

Working closely with the NHPA liaisons to the SB 115 commission, as well as the Executive Director, the researcher will work to create a needed list of data to be gathered and then complete such research based on the timeline discussed upon hire. (all work to be complete before October 2020)

Requirements:

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities

  • Working knowledge of office practices, methods, and computer skills 

  • Ability to work effectively within a team and to work effectively and collaboratively with diverse groups and individuals

  • Excellent organizational skills - set priorities, develop a work schedule, monitor progress towards goals, and track details, data, information, and activities

  • Ability to establish priorities, work independently, remotely and proceed with objectives without supervision.

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills

  • Effective interpersonal and communication skills, including tact and diplomacy

  • Ability to remain adaptable and flexible in different situations, including learning new systems and processes

  • Ability to meet deadlines, work under pressure, and problem-solve effectively

  • Ability to represent NHPA in a friendly, courteous, and professional manner

  • Creative and innovative thinking

Qualifications:

  • Degree in mental health, education, health policy or related field

  • Suggested: 3-5 years research experience

Responsibilities:

Duties and research areas will include but are not limited to:

Big Picture:

  • Defining where to retrieve below data

  • Contacting sources to request data

  • Compiling all data in a digital format for use by NHPA

  • Current billing practices being used around the state of New Hampshire by mental health providers

  • Types of access to education/training in mental health fields in New Hampshire

  • Issues and red flags to be addressed with regard to parity in insurance reimbursement rates

  • Provider availability and population needs for the state of New Hampshire

Detail Picture:

  • Review existing NH Insurance regulations to determine what changes might improve the situation for mental health providers

  • Present research on the benefits of psychological testing in healthcare and school settings while describing current barriers for psychologists who do testing (e.g., high cost of test materials, reduction in insurance reimbursement rates for testing, excessive pre-authorization processes before testing can be reimbursed, frequent claim denials for testing).

  •  Identify ways in which insurance regulations negatively impact network adequacy.

  •  Identify checks and balances between insurance companies and the NH Insurance Department to ensure regulations are followed.

  • Be prepared to discuss ways to reduce overall health care costs while requesting improvements to the claims resolution process, to access to provider relations services, and to reasonable annual cost of living increases in reimbursement rates.

  • Collect NHPA membership survey data from small or independent private practices on their particular concerns, in order to best represent challenges in their ability to succeed in the State.  More recently, we have collected anecdotal data that members are distressed by reductions in testing reimbursement rates, difficulties in having leverage to negotiate higher psychotherapy reimbursement rates, etc.  

Issues of mental health practice that we will prioritize depending on this research and input from the membership are as follows:

  • Issues related to psychological testing reimbursement 

  • Lack of reimbursement for collaborative care

  • Lower reimbursement for teletherapy services, compared to in-person services

  • Higher copays (at times) when we are considered specialists, rather than copays consistently the same as PCP (lower copays improve access to care)

  • Difficulties accessing insurance point people who have decision-making power, when we are trying to advocate for NH psychologists

  • Lack of transparency of data submitted by insurance companies to NHID (NH Insurance Department)

  • Difficulties of solo and small businesses to negotiate contracts 

  • Lack of some guarantee for solo and small practices that rates will account for increasing costs of doing business, such as cost of living and inflation, expenses for implementing electronic records, and costs of needed administrative and billing support 

  • Challenges to clinicians’ abilities to bill sessions according to client's needs without unnecessary authorizations or paperwork (addressing 90834 vs 90837) 

  • Lack of clear requirements for documentation should a clinician be audited so clinicians can avoid surprise clawbacks

How to Apply:

Email cover letter and resume to Jena Mottola, Executive Director at jena@nhpsychology.org.

Salary Range:

$5,000-$7,500

Job Location:

Virtual /from home

Date Added: November 12, 2019

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