LPA Health Innovations Group Works to Assist Medicaid Task Force

October/November 2017

Members of the Louisiana Psychological Association Healthcare Innovations Task Force, recently worked to help with discovering innovations that could help the state Medicaid programs.

Members include Chair Dr. Lacey Seymour, Dr. Chris Leonhard, Dr. Deborah Palmer-Seal, Dr. Erin Reuther, and Dr. Michele Larzelere.

In August Dr. Lacey Seymour was appointed as the LPA representative to the Medicaid Integrated Assessment Task Force, a group created by Representative Barbara Norton and others, with the goal to “make a thorough study and evaluation of Louisiana's current statewide system of healthcare delivery for Medicaid enrollees with serious mental illness.” Dr. Seymour is a licensed psychologist and a past-president of the association.

LPA also created a special committee, “LPA Healthcare Innovations Task Force,” including members Dr. Chris Leonhard, Dr. Deborah Palmer-Seal, Dr. Erin Reuther, and Dr. Michele Larzelere. Dr. Seymour is chair. The Healthcare Innovations committee works to “craft, communicate, and apply a comprehensive and integrated role for psychologists, similar to the health service psychologist, with the aim of enhancing and expanding the practice options and contributions of these psychologists within Louisiana’s traditional healthcare system. The committee’s efforts may include, but not be limited to, the following: to assist current policy makers to innovate; to help inform and educate the public and policy makers about psychologists’ broad-based contributions in service of common health goals; to help guide and educate other psychologists in knowledge, skills, and abilities that aid them in understanding and fulfilling, or beginning to fulfill, this expanded role; …” 

In working with the Medicaid Task Force, the LPA Committee members made recommendations to the task force members, including telepsychology services, for the use of consulting health psychologists, and a recommendation to participate in projects currently underway elsewhere in the country with the goal of improving mental health services in primary care.