See the timeline below of NCPA’s advocacy efforts.

January 1, 2020 - BCBSNC announces preauthorization requirement for psychological and neuropsychological testing.

January 17, 2020 - Martha Turner-Quest (NCPA Executive Director) reaches out to all DIPP members asking for examples of difficulties with the pre-authorization for neuropsychological and psychological testing requirement.

January 22, 2020 - Martha Turner-Quest emails Dr. Kate Hobbs-Knutson, Chief of Behavioral Health with BCBSNC, an extensive and detailed letter co-authored by Drs. Bob Conder, Charlie Cooper, Cris Saffo, Mark Stein, Pamela Trent and Ms. Martha Turner-Quest.  It describes how numerous psychologists from across the state are urgently reporting that the pre-authorization procedures for testing have posed several very serious barriers for patients seeking psychological and neuropsychological testing services in out-patient behavioral, medical and neurological practices, and in-patient medical hospitals and medical schools.

January 23, 2020 - Upon receipt of the letter, Dr. Hobbs-Knutson agrees to a conference call with Drs. Cris Saffo (then DIPP Board President), Pamela Trent (DIPP Insurance Committee Co-Chair), and Martha Turner-Quest. Dr. Hobbs-Knutson clarifies that the prior authorization is part of Utilization Management that BCBSNC has taken in-house from Magellan. She states that similar pre-authorizations are in place for some purely medical services.

February 19, 2020 - Martha Turner-Quest emails Dr. Hobbs-Knutson a letter penned by Dr. Bob Conder, NCPA member and President of the North Carolina Neuropsychological Society, regarding the negative impacts on patient care throughout the state.

March 18, 2020 - Members of the Insurance Committee fine-tune a summary of member concerns regarding pre-authorizations and provide feedback on the 4-page pre-authorizations form to help organize the meeting with Dr. Kate Hobbs-Knutson.

March 20, 2020 -  Dr. Kate Hobbs-Knutson meets with NCPA/DIPP leaders.

April 14, 2020 - BCBSNC announces the development of a Behavioral Health Provider Advisory Group (BHPAG), seeking diverse perspectives from the provider community to help refine their strategy, develop communications and inform policy.

April 20, 2020 - Dr. Cris Saffo summarizes the meeting with Dr. Kate Hobbs-Knutson to share with NCPA members.

June 9, 2020 - NCPA, as a member of the Joint Insurance Committee (JIC), meets with representatives from BCBSNC. The JIC is comprised of members representing psychology, psychiatry, social work, and licensed clinical mental health counselors.

 June 22, 2020 - Martha Turner-Quest meets with Breanna Johnson at BCBSNC to discuss the development of the Blue Cross North Carolina Behavioral Health Provider Engagement Strategy.

 June 25, 2020 - Dr. Peter Hampton and Dr. Jennifer Larson (nominated by NCPA) are chosen to participate on the BCBSNC’s Behavioral Provider Health Advisory Group.

 July 23, 2020 - Martha Turner-Quest meets with Dr. Ish Bhalla (Associate Medical Director of Behavioral Health Value Transformation).  Dr. Bhalla discusses his commitment to value-based care.  Martha discusses the ongoing issues NCPA members are experiencing with BCBS prior-authorizations for psychological and neuropsychological testing.

 August 10 2020 - Dr. Bob Conder (NCPA Insurance Committee and President of the Neuropsychological Society) also meets with Dr. Ish Bhalla.

September 8, 2020 - Dr. Bob Conder polls the North Carolina Neuropsychological Society to gain feedback from members about neuropsychological testing pre-authorization.  Dr. Conder continues discussions with Dr. Bhalla to establish clarity about the concerns. 

 October 19, 2020 - Dr. Bob Conder and Dr. Joanna Mussey (NCPA Insurance Committee) create a survey about preauthorization for psychological and neuropsychological testing so that NCPA may also provide feedback to Dr. Ish Bhalla of BCBSNC.

 November 1, 2020 - BCBS announces the removal of the Psychological and Neuropsychological preauthorization requirement.

*The Division of Independent Professional Practice (DIPP) was officially a part of NCPA, although it functioned as its own organization with a Board of Director, membership dues and committees (Insurance Committee and Insurance SWAT Team).  DIPP became a part of NCPA in 1989 via a corporate merger.  Prior to the corporate merger, what we currently known as DIPP, was a separate corporation with its own tax exemption status.