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News from KPS

Senate Forwards Malpractice Bill
--Feb. 27, 2014

The Senate passed to a final action vote Thursday, SB 311, that will increase the non-economic loss cap on Kansas personal injury claims from the current $250,000 to $300,000 in July, $325,000 July 1, 2018, and $350,000 in 2022.

The bill is the Kansas Medical Society's effort to meet the Kansas Supreme Court's 2012 decision that held the current non-economic damage cap is constitutional, but needs to be increased to avoid future rulings which might hold that the cap is unconstitutional.
Read more about SB 311 here.

Kansas nurses to push for more independence from doctors
--From KHI News Service, Jan. 27, 2014

Scope-of-practice bill will meet opposition from Kansas Medical Society

TOPEKA — Kansas’ growing doctor shortage could be addressed by allowing nurses with advanced skills to work more independently of physicians, say those advocating a change in state law that would allow that to happen.

Currently under Kansas law, advanced practice registered nurses (or APRNs) must work under a so-called "collaborative practice agreement" with a supervising doctor before providing health care services within the nurse’s certified level of training.

A proposal expected to soon be before legislators would free APRNs from that requirement and allow them to diagnose, treat, and prescribe medications for their patients without an agreement with a physician.  Read the full article here.

Initiative forming to deal with Kansas' psychiatrist shortage
--From KHI News Service

Officials from the state, the mental health centers and KU talking about the need for more residency slots

Kansas faces a persistent and growing shortage of psychiatrists, so state officials and mental health advocates say they will be pushing for more residency slots at the University of Kansas Medical Center to help address the problem of too few mental health professionals, especially in the state's rural areas.

"The difficulty with psychiatric coverage at the state hospitals I think is the same as at the CMHCs (community mental health centers) and the private hospitals. There's not enough supply," said Shawn Sullivan, secretary of the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services. "My understanding is that we have very few psychiatric residency slots at KU Medical Center. I think that's something we really need to take a hard look at in the next two years and we need to work with the (Board of) Regents on increasing slots," he said.

Of the 105 Kansas counties, all but five urban ones are federally designated as mental health professional shortage areas and experts say the problem has worsened the past several years. Continue Reading...

Updates From APA

By the end of January 2014, the term “Member in Training” (MIT) will be replaced in all APA material to Resident-Fellow Member (RFM).  The term MIT was hard to understand both within and outside of the APA; common terms such as “resident” and “fellow” more clearly define our stage of training and shared interests.  Furthermore, “resident” and “fellow” are designations in-line with other organizations, including the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME), and the AMA.

Early-bird discount for Annual Meeting
As a reminder, the 167th APA Annual Meeting is May 3-7 in New York City.  For details and to register, please visit by January 24th to receive the early-bird registration discount.  The APA has also arranged discounted rates at three nearby hotels where RFMs are encouraged to reserve rooms so we can more easily connect. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact APA staff at 1-888-357-7924.

American Psychiatric Association and Others Seek Court’s Intervention in Compelling Anthem and Wellpoint to End Alleged Discrimination Against Mental Health Patients

April 11, 2013 — The American Psychiatric Association, the Connecticut Psychiatric Society, the Connecticut Council of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and two individuals have filed suit in the U.S District Court in Connecticut against Anthem Health Plans, Inc. and its parent company,  Wellpoint, Inc., alleging that the companies discriminate against mental health care patients in violation of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA), Connecticut parity law,  and other state laws.  The complaint seeks declaratory and injunctive relief that would declare that Anthem’s conduct since January 1, 2013 is illegal and prohibit the Companies from continuing to discriminate against those with a mental illness.  Read the complete press release here.

DSM-5DSM-5 Available for Pre-order

APA is pleased to announce that the DSM-5 and other DSM-5 companion titles are now available for pre-order on! Pre-orders will be fulfilled on May 22, when the book becomes available to the general public.

Also now up is the new DSM-5 landing page featuring news updates, fact sheets, videos, and highlights of changes from DSM-IV to DSM-5! This site will be updated weekly as new articles are published in Psychiatric News.

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