Practical News


NCPA News You Can Use Summer 2016 (click to download)

Rita Christensen, Ph. D, NCPA Mountain Representative

Summer 2016

NCPA and affiliated committees continue to advocate for the field of psychology and its consumers. If you do not support NCPA already, please seriously consider doing so by becoming a member.  See the NCPA website at for more information about NCPA and the benefits of membership! All  information below is provided by NCPA:


On July 1, 2016 the provisions of Senate Bill 676 – Insurance Coverage for Autism – goes into effect.


Dr. Richard Ogle begins his term as NCPA President on July 1, 2016. We are certain that Dr. Ogle will provide excellent leadership. We thank Dr. Glen Martin for his service the past two years in this role.



Dr. Charlie Cooper and Sally Cameron will present and updated Practice Checkup course that provides information crucial to professional practice. It is an opportunity to review the annual HIPAA check-up process and much more.  The workshop is intended to meet the three hour ethical/legal requirement for CE for psychologists. See NCPA website at for registration information. The training will be provided on August 27 from 9:00 am to 12:15 pm at the NC Arboretum.


Friday, September 23 and Saturday, September 24, 2016

See NCPA website for brochure and registration information at

Topics Offered:

  • Changing the Anxious Mind, Rapidly
  • Ethics, Diversity, and Multicultural Competence in Psychological Practice
  • The Logic & Skill of Generating Assertive Self-Talk Cues During Exposure
  • Ethics, Self-Care, and Competence for Psychologists
  • Couple Interventions for Depressed Individuals in the Context of Relationship


  • Working Effectively with Individuals Recovering from Traumatic Relationships with
  • Psychopathic Individuals: Part I: Understanding Psychopathic Traits & their Impact on Others
  • Couple Interventions for Anxious Individuals in Context of Relationship Distress
  • Working Effectively with Individuals Recovering from Traumatic Relationships with
  • Psychopathic Individuals: Part II: Assessing & Treating Clients in Traumatic
  • Relationships with Psychopathic Individuals

PSYCHOLOGIST NAMED INTERIM DIVISION DIRECTOR Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Rick Brajer announced in mid-June that NCPA member Jason Vogler, Ph.D., has accepted the post as interim director of the N.C. Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services. He begins his new duties July 1.  Dr. Vogler replaces NCPA member Courtney Cantrell, Ph.D. who is leaving for a position in the private sector. Vogler has served as DMH/DD/SAS assistant division director since December 2015, where he has been instrumental in managing the Transitions to Community Living Initiative, also known as the Department of Justice Settlement. His 10-year work history within DHHS also includes serving the Division of State Operated Healthcare Facilities as director of psychosocial treatment and clinical director for centralized treatment services at Central Regional Hospital in Butner (2010-2015) where he also served as clinical assistant professor and senior psychologist in the community transition unit (2007-2010). NEW COLLEAGUE ASSISTANCE RESOURCE ON WEB The NCPA Colleague Assistance Committee has developed a new section of the NCPA website with a number of resources on self-care and peer consultation.  Visit for more information. A major role of NCPA’s Colleague Assistance Committee is peer consultation. As the by-laws state, “The purposes of this committee include prevention and amelioration of professional distress and impairment and their consequences among psychologists.” If you are concerned about personal and professional stress, well-being and colleague relationships, please contact the committee directly at (919.785.3969). Members of the CAC are the only persons who respond to this helpline. Just call, leave a confidential message and a committee member will contact you.  For concerns relatedto ethics and law, please contact NCPA directly.  2016 UNDERGRADUATE CONFERENCE – VOLUNTEERS NEEDED The 2016 NCPF Undergraduate Conference will be held on Saturday, November 5, 2016 at NC A&T University in Greensboro. Volunteers and facilitators are needed. To volunteer contact NCPA Office Manager Carol Kulwicki at, or visit and click on Students or the link on the slider. NEW WASIK STUDENT GRANT ANNOUNCED Thanks to a generous gift to the North Carolina Psychological Foundation by Dr. Barbara Wasik, the Foundation has established the Wasik Student Travel Grant. An award of $500 will be given annually to support a graduate student’s travel to national meetings for the purpose of presenting his or her research. The research may be an oral presentation or poster session.  The first application period is now open with a deadline of July 15.  This award will add to the Foundation’s goal of supporting graduate student travel. Visit for more information about the award and the application.  NCPF STUDENT TRAVEL GRANT PROGRAM The deadline to apply for the next $250 Student Travel Grant is September 10, 2016.This is open to any NCPA graduate student member to assist their travel cost to present at a conference.  For more information and an application visit the NCPA website.   PRIVILEGE TAX – YES, PSYCHOLOGISTS ARE INCLUDED The state of NC privilege tax does apply to psychologists and it has not been repealed. As we understand it this particular privilege license applies to you as the individual- not a business. To obtain application visit the Department of Revenue website at When applying a code must be entered & the codefor psychologists is 450 – see the second page of the form, which lists the codes.NOTE – county and local privilege tax was repealed in July 2015.



Download our WNCPA Nov 2015 Newsletter pdf

NCPA Mountain Region Update, October 2015

At the national level, the APA’s Practice Organization continues to be in dialogue with CMS regarding several issues: reimbursement rates, additional PQRS measures that are applicable to mental health, safeguarding the role of psychology in collaborative care models, consideration of reimbursement for phone consults with other providers, and adding end-of-life/advance care planning as a psychological service. The Medicare fee schedule for 2016 should be released in early November.
In response to leadership concerns within the APA, a commission is being formed on Ethics Processes. If you have experience or interest, please go to and click on link “APA Commission on Ethics Processes: Call for Nominations.”
The balloting for the APA Presidential Election began on September 15, 205. If you are an APA member please click here to vote:
It takes you to the APA Login screen – you will need your APA username and password – and if you don’t have that you can use the Forgot Username or Password function.
Private and government payers such as Medicare and Medicaid mandated use of ICD-10 as of October 1 for insurance reimbursement claims. If you missed the ICD-10 Webinar on August 14, don’t despair. NCPA was able to tape it, and the link is available for the same cost as that day. Click here to fill out a form to get the link to view the webinar, and you will also receive the Power Point from NCPA.
On the state level, Senate bill 676 to provide an autism insurance benefit was passed with an effective date of July 1, 2016 rather than January 1, 2016. Here is a link to the ratified bill:
Also in the last weeks of the legislative session a bill to reform Medicaid passed. The bill to create licensure for behavior analysists passed the House but was not considered by the Senate. It will be eligible for consideration in 2016.
Several pieces of legislation that are being monitored by NCPA include HR2646, Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2015; S1945 Mental Health Reform Act of 2015; S1893, The Mental Health Awareness and Improvement Act of 2015. Please see the NCPA website for more information. These pieces of legislation are supported by APAPO and APA. Together, these bills would reform the mental health care system for the most seriously mentally ill and their families by making structural improvements and strengthening the fragmented mental health system to increase patients’ access to effective and evidence-based care.

The Smoky Mountain LME/MCO sent out an announcement this week that they have posted a revised Provider Manual for a 30 day comment period. If you are in the Smoky network please consider reading and commenting. Here is a link to the announcement:

Upcoming events: The undergraduate conference at NC Central University in Durham, NC is on Saturday, November 14, 2015 from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm. Please contact Carol Kulwicki at NCPA for more information.
At the local level, the Western North Carolina Psychological Association (WNCPA) has reconvened their fall meeting schedule. The group met on September 21, 2015 at Gondolier’s in Asheville. A presentation on the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study was provided by Suzanne Fullar, RN, MSN, MPH and Melissa Baker, MPH which highlighted the campaign to increase public awareness in WNC. Most importantly, steps have been taken to identify members of our community that have been affected by childhood trauma. Systems are in place to connect these people and their families with treatment resources. For those of us who have worked with this population, it is refreshing and exciting to see action taken within our medical, school, and legal community to address the far-reaching impact of adverse childhood experiences across the lifespan.
WNCPA will meet next on Thursday, October 15, 2015 at 7:00 at Noble Cider, 356 New Leicester Highway, Asheville, for an Oktoberfest social event. Please visit for more information. WNCPA will not meet in November, but are planning their annual Holiday Dinner at the WNC Governor’s Residence on December 8th. Be sure to check to WNCPA website for further information!
Hope this update has been helpful. Please let me know if you have questions or concerns to be addressed at the state or local level.
Happy Fall!
Rita Christensen
NCPA Mountain Region Representative



The Continuing Education Committee is hard at work making sure the needs of all psychologists, including Early Career Psychologists (ECP), are represented in their offerings. The Fall Conference at the Friday Center will be held September 25th and 26th. Look for announcements in your e-news. (Dr. Ed Hamlin is going to be one of the presenters, WNC’s own.)

Additionally, ECPs are invited to access a “closed” forum on Face book for NCPA members only. They are exploring issues important to ECPs such as opening a practice and dealing with credentialing.

Our State organization has also been very involved in monitoring the legislature for issues that may affect psychologists. Some of the current bills that are being watched concern records retention, fee structure for the licensing board, and insurance reimbursement for the treatment of autism. Recently, NCPA was involved in monitoring how a gun licensing law was written and making sure that our representatives were aware of the issues from a psychological perspective.

Lastly, the Diversity Committee is looking for a few good student and professional members. They interface with other committees such as the Disaster Response Network and the Colleague Assistance Committee to improve cultural and diversity sensitivity, among other things. The committee often meets via phone and correspond via email. If you are interested, let me know. Being involved on a committee is a great way to get to know other psychologists while working on a common goal.

This will be my last reporting as your Mountain Representative for NCPA. I have thoroughly enjoyed bringing you the exciting news from NCPA and representing the fine psychologists from the mountains. I will be continuing my involvement with NCPA as the co-chair of the Public Education Committee so you have not heard the last from me yet.

Rita Christensen, Ph.D. will be your new Mountain Representative and is eager to help you in anyway she can. Rita is a good friend and colleague. I could not be more pleased that she will be the new Mountain Representative for NCPA.

Susan Hill, Ed.D., NCPA Mountain Representative (until June 30th), 828-254-9494,

Thank you Susan! You have represented us very well for a very long while. We appreciate your efforts and good work! Congratulations on your new co-chair position! 

We wholeheartedly join Susan in welcoming Rita as our new mountain representative. Welcome Rita!



The Disaster Response Network (DRN) of NCPA has been involved in responding to the recent shooting of Muslim students at Chapel Hill. They have been interfacing with the student community as well as others affected by the shootings. The DRN has also been working with law enforcement to reach out to the Muslim community to work to support and protect them.

Our State organization has also been very involved in monitoring the legislature for issues that may affect psychologists. Some of the current bills being watched concern records retention, fee structure for the licensing board, and insurance for the treatment of autism. Additionally, NCPA is closing monitoring the governor’s budget proposal particularly as it pertains to Medicaid and the Broughton Hospital expansion.

Other NCPA activities. . .NCPA/NCPF as well as the Public Education Committee are looking for a few new members to join their committees. Being involved on a committee is a great way to get to know other psychologists while working on a common goal. Remember, many of the meetings are handled by phone and communication is conducted over email between meetings. The Spring Conference will be held, April 24 & 25, 2015, at the Friday Center in Chapel Hill. Some of the topics include psychological assessment, school bullying, and substance abuse relapse.

Enjoy the spring.

Susan Hill, Ed.D., NCPA Mountain Representative, 828-254-9494,



Board members want you to know that your opinion is important. NCPA wants to hear from psychologists from all walks of life, professional backgrounds, years in practice, and levels of education. Do not hesitate to contact me with your thoughts, concerns, and/or questions.

Our State organization continues to be very involved in monitoring the legislature for issues that may affect psychologists. A current issue being watched concerns what type of mental health professionals are able to perform first level psychiatric commitments.

The Member Survey indicated that NCPA members are very interested in: the legislative monitoring and lobbying; continuing education opportunities; and committee work that NCPA does.

Other NCPA activities: NCPA is looking to make nominations for positions on the Psychology Licensing Board, interested parties can contact Sally directly. NCPA has several continuing education opportunities coming up: DIPP conference February 21, 2015 as well as the NCPA/NCPF Spring conference, April 24 & 25, 2015, both at the Friday Center in Chapel Hill.

Happy New Year!

Susan Hill, Ed.D., NCPA Mountain Representative, 828-254-9494,



Calling All Early Career Psychologists – I want your input. Please contact me if you are interested in social events, mentoring panels, training, or anything else to be offered in our area. I will work to put together an opportunity to bring you together.

Our State organization is reaching out to current psychologists every day. Did you know, they also reach out to future psychologists. For more than twenty years, NCPA has been organizing the Undergraduate Conference in conjunction with the NCPF. This year, 170 undergraduate psychology students attended this one day conference held on November 15, 2014. There were 13 graduate programs from around the State represented to answer questions and present their programs. What a great event to be with so many people who are excited about psychology.

Other NCPA activities. . .NCPA is wanting to interact with the Psychology Licensing Board on a more regular basis to make a more concerted effort to coordinate. Look for some resolution in the future concerning Tele-psychology, other licensing issues, and practicing in other states.

Please fill out the Member Survey when it comes to your email. Your comments and thoughts are very important and taken seriously.

Have a wonderful holiday season.

Susan Hill, Ed.D., NCPA Mountain Representative, 828-254-9494,



The Fall Conference is this Friday (9/19) and Saturday (9/20) in Chapel Hill and promises to be a good one, whether you need CEs or not.

The Undergraduate Conference if coming up in November 15, 2014 at NC A & T State University in Greensboro, one of the only undergraduate conferences in the country. Donations for door prizes (i.e. gift cards to places like Target and Starbucks; river raft rides) are being accepted.  This conference attracts a large group of undergraduate psychology students who, one day, may be the “face” of our profession.

On Saturday, August 23, Sally Cameron and Charlie Cooper came to present the “Practice Check-up” at the Arboretum. The information presented was invaluable and well worth the three hours spent without any needless anxiety imparted.

NCPA continues to look for committee members for the following committees:   Membership Committee (good place for new psychologists to meet other psychologists); North Carolina Psychology Foundation (good place for established psychologists with minimal meeting requirements); and the Public Education Committee (just forming, you could influence its shape).

Coming up, on Friday, October 17, 2014 from 6pm to 8pm, NCPA will be in Boone, North Carolina. Mark your calendars.  Details to follow.

Lastly, I will be making calls to some current NCPA members soon. I would love to hear any feedback you might have about how to make our State organization even stronger.

Susan Hill, Ed.D., NCPA Mountain Representative, 828-254-9494,

P.S. Did you know that 9 North Carolina Psychologists made presentations at the APA convention in Washington D.C. this August?  Way to go!



NCPA has openings on several of their committees including: Membership; Public Education; Early Career Psychologist; and Development. Most of the committees meet via conference call with limited face-to-face meetings. Between meeting communication often takes place using email. Being part of a committee is a great way to get to know NCPA and other psychologists around the State all while contributing to the betterment of psychology. If you need additional information concerning any of these committees or any other committee, please contact me.

On Saturday, August 23, 2014 from 9:00am to 12:15pm Sally Cameron and Charlie Cooper will be doing their “re-tooled” Practice Check-up at the Arboretum. This 3 hour workshop will count towards 3 hours of ethics. There will be snacks provided by NCPA and your Mountain Representative at the break.

In March, 2015, NCPA will be hosting a Joint Board/Member planning meeting where NCPA members and non-members have a chance to “speak their minds” about our State organization. We want to hear your opinion on where you want NCPA to direct their energies to best serve you and your clients. If you are interested, please let me know.

The NC State Legislature in currently in their short session which means much of their conversation is centered on budget topics and appropriations. NCPA is very busy watching bills that include Medicaid funding, Autism Insurance, and the State Health Plan, just to name a few.

Susan Hill, Ed.D., NCPA Mountain Representative, 828-254-9494,


05/19/2014 – Our State organization plays a major role in advocating for psychologists on the state and local level in the areas of training and advocacy.

The Continuing Education Committee is hard at work planning continuing educational opportunities that are current, interesting, relevant, and necessary. Watch for upcoming trainings on ethics and integrative/collaborative care while you complete the CE requirement for this licensing cycle, ending September 30, 2014.

The NC State Legislature in currently in their short session which means much of their conversation will center on budget topics and appropriations. NCPA is watching for bills that include activities of other groups (i.e. music therapists)that may affect psychologists in some way. Additionally, after careful consideration, NCPA has recommended 3 Licensed Psychologists as well as 3 Licensed Psychological Associates to Governor McCory for him to choice from to sit on the Psychology Board.

We want “Psychology to be at the Table” in as many arenas as possible. As a group, we have much to offer.

Susan Hill, Ed.D., NCPA Mountain Representative, 828-254-9494,

03/24/2014 – Our State and National organizations continue to advocate for psychologists here at home as well as in Washington. Some of the “hot button” issues are the sustainable growth rate for Medicare, incentives for psychologists to use electronic medical records, and having psychologists coded as physicians under the Medicare system. The Long Range Planning Committee is monitoring how integrative care will affect psychologists in the future, wanting to be sure “psychology is at the table” as often as possible. One model they are investigating is the State Health Plan which uses a system where providers are paid or “quality and outcomes” not for productivity and procedures.

If you are interested, NCPA is looking for people to serve on their Public Education Committee as well as their Scientific, Academic, and Student Affairs Committee (SASA). Serving on a committee is a great way to get to know psychologists across the State and be a part of something bigger.

Susan Hill, Ed.D., NCPA Mountain Representative, 828-254-9494,

02/03/2014 – Several conferences, training, and meeting opportunities are coming up as another CE cycle ends September 30, 2014:

February 22, Chapel Hill, Friday Center – DIPP Practice Conference
April 25 and 26, Charlotte, Harris Conference Center – NCPA Spring Conference
May 19, Asheville, location tba – WNCPA Townhall Meeting with Sally Cameron
June 7, Chapel Hill, Friday Center – Risk Management Conference
June 21, Asheville, location tba – Karen Shelton, Conducting Custody Evals
August 23, Asheville, location tba – NCPA’s Cameron & Cooper, Practice Check-up

APA is looking to fill positions on many different kinds of committees and the Psychology Licensing Board is looking for Board members. If you are interested in either, you can contact me for more information.

The NCPA continues to monitor and assist in establishing more doctoral programs for psychology throughout the State.

Susan Hill, Ed.D., NCPA Mountain Representative, 828-254-9494,

11/18/2013 – The North Carolina Psychology Board would like to limit Psychologists ability to talk about specific medications with clients and/or prescribers.

Our State organization is working to help the Psychology Board understand that Psychologists have valuable and knowledgeable information to share with clients as well as prescribers that may include naming particular medications, not be considered “practicing medicine” but would provide a continuity of care.

Additionally, the State legislature is considering consolidating licensing boards.  In other States, psychology licensing boards have been combined with other helping professions as well as massage therapists and boxers (no kidding).  Our State organization is monitoring the legislature on this issue and others that affect psychologists directly as well as indirectly.

The NCPA web site is up and running.  You can find it at

Susan Hill, Ed.D., NCPA Mountain Representative, 828-254-9494,

9/28/2013 – Our State organization is working with the American Psychological Association to look at expanding the CPT codes to include billing for psychologists in a wider variety of settings.

 Psychologists are required to move towards using the DSM-5 by June 1, 2014 according to the NC Psychology Board but HIPAA is requiring that we use the ICD-10 codes for diagnoses by October, 2014.  NCPA’s President, Dr. Travis Colwell, will be writing a letter to the NC Psychology Board to raise issues about the diagnosis code controversy.

Work is being done to keep psychologists abreast of the changes coming down with ACA; how it will affect psychologists in practice as well as privately.

 Some clarification on NC Tracks:

NC Tracks is now the Medicaid payer for organizations such as North Carolina Health Choice. More and more counties are starting to use their MCO’s for paying claims like Western Highlands Network and Smoky Mountain Center.

Susan Hill, NCPA, Mountain Regional Representative,; 828-254-9494


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