Highlights of November/December 1998 Issue

By National Psychologist Editor
November 1, 1998



Bringing 31,000 readers up-to-date psychology news and information has been The National Psychologist’s goal and practice since it began publishing in 1991.

In preparation for this issue, we traveled to far-flung venues to bring readers first-hand accounts of a story with identical outcomes: The election, by decisive margins, of two psychologists to Congress.

John Thomas, our associate editor, traveled to Olympia, WA where he watched Psychologist Brian Baird distribute campaign literature at street corners on election day to persuade a few more voters. The election was expected to be a cliffhanger. It wasn’t: Baird won decisively.

Editor Henry Saeman took the easy route, traveling 110 miles from The National Psychologist’s home base in Columbus to Portsmouth, Ohio where Psychologist Ted Strickland held an election night party for friends, relatives (he has many, including seven brothers and a sister) and media people in the gym of the Steamfitters and Plumbers Union Hall. The outcome of Strickland’s race seemed apparent after the earliest results but nobody in this partisan crowd dared believe it. Like Baird, Strickland won a smashing victory. Both psychologists were heavily outspent.

In our issue, being printed and mailed Nov. 6, the large-type headline appropriately conveys: Two psychologists in Congress next year. We hope our readers will appreciate the articles as much as we enjoyed covering these events for them.

Other articles in the current issue:

  • Except for the election coverage, our major story–relegated to Page 4, tells about Congress finally allocating Graduate Medical Education (GME) funds to psychology. Although never the glamour issue it should have been, being included in GME money after many past failures, represents a significant breakthrough.
  • Since managed care has become an inescapable part of the lives of thousands of psychologists, we decided to sit in on a keynote panel in Chicago titled “The Managed Behavioral Healthcare Decade: “What went right, what went wrong, what’s next?” It’s a fairly candid discussion by three panelists, Psychologist Nick Cummings, Ph.D.; Ken Kessler, M.D., president of American Psych Systems; and Ronald Dozoretz, M.D., president of ValueOptions.
  • While “case rates” are unpopular among many, they are embraced by some mental health professionals.
  • Opportune timing and going with the trend helped shape the future for Steven P. Dingfelder, Ph.D., of St. Augustine, FL, making him a successful practitioner.
  • Questionable billing procedures would be among violations that could land you in a heap of trouble with the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA). Others, predictably, are fraud and abuse. A well-researched article by Paula Hartman-Stein, Ph.D., who operates the Center for Healthy Aging in Akron, OH.
  • “We are the psychologists who don’t want prescribing privileges,” a group of masters level psychologists who seek independent practice, told psychiatrists at a convention in Louisiana recently. They were greeted cordially, reported Ted Dorfman, president of the Northamerican Assn. of Masters in Psychology (NAMP), and they agreed to explore initiatives to assist in objectives of the two widely-disparate groups. There is more from NAMP: It continues to discuss suing APA on 1st and 14 amendment groups although conceding the prospects are remote because it’s risky and too costly.

Look for other interesting articles in our November/December issue.

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