I was wondering if anyone could help me out with some questions regarding working as an outpatient Psych PA in Hawaii. I am a new grad PA from Florida looking to start my career in Psychiatry. I have been applying in Hawaii (preferred) and Florida to both outpatient and inpatient positions. However, I just got this response from an outpatient psychiatrist in Florida after emailing my resume to him...
A PA in Florida cannot bill Blue Cross Blue Shield for mental health services. Blue Cross Blue Shield represents about 50% of our business. So it is impossible to hire a physician assistant. You cannot bill under a physician for mental health services for Blue Cross Blue Shield either. This may very well be different for medical PAs. If you are working in an inpatient or community mental health center or university setting, then the billing could well come under the facility and be okay. However, for a private practice, it is simply impossible. I have checked this out many times and was formally on the advisory board for the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida mental health third-party payer.
I wish you the best."
I am sure this could be different in Hawaii, but have any of you in Hawaii noticed any advantages/disadvantages for PAs vs NPs in outpatient psych regarding billing/reimbursement or any other reasons? I just wanted to make sure I'm not wasting my time if NPs have a clear advantage there...
As far as FL, I will stick with applying to inpatient or community mental health center positions as he suggested.
I would love any feedback regarding anyone's experience as a psych PA (outpatient/inpatient) in (FL/HI). Unfortunately, billing was only briefly covered in school, and it is coming back to bite me in my job search. Thank you for your time.
Undergrad Ed School: University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Major (GPA) // Minor (GPA) : Biology (3.58) with 2 minors in Chemistry (2.9) & Psychology (4.0)
Cumulative Undergrad. GPA: 3.68
Science Undergrad. GPA: 3.58
Post Bachelor GPA: N/A
Age at application time : 22
1st GRE - V: 141 Q: 150 W: 3.0 // I unfortunately scheduled the GRE after taking 2 summer finals (Physics and Psychology of Individual Differences) so this score is pretty much a baseline for how I would do with minimal / no studying.
2nd GRE - V: 149 Q 161 W: 3.0 // The GRE prep I used was Magoosh and they did not have an analytical practice section so my AW score was the same, but my verbal and quantitative scores improved tremendously! Magoosh usually has pretty good sales for a 6 month subscription for $125 (regular price of 1 month subscription) around January and July.
Direct Patient Care : (Patient Care Technician / CNA)
Cerebrovascular / Diabetic floor (2 years ~2,500 hours)
Float pool / Anywhere in the hospital (~500 hours)
Extracurricular / Leadership / Research Activities:
Greek organization // Junior and Senior scholarship committee
Pre-PA club // Treasurer 2 full terms
UTC Medical Society // Member
Volunteer for local hospital, Adult and Children's Emergency Room (200 hours) Children's Believe Campaign and St. Jude Up till Dawn participant (~25 hours), Girls on the Run (~10 hours)
Supporter of various organizations such as Ronald McDonald House, Make A Wish foundation, TC Thomson's Children's Hospital, Girl Scouts of America
PA in Neurosurgical and Spine Unit (Shadowed 150 hours)
RN who's director/manager of Neuroscience (Known for 2 years)
RN Clinical Staff Leader (Known for 1 year)
Professor who I had 3 classes in Microbiology (B) , Immunology (A), and Microbial Ecology (A)
Saving one more recommendation request for a potential PA or MD
Personal Statement Topic: I talked about my personal childhood struggles with many health issues in my family & how I wanted to pursue a career that provides access to healthcare . I then weaned into my work experience at the hospital and mentoring. Ended it with a description of the PA I shadowed and all the qualities that I believe I had to be an important asset in healthcare.
Schools Applied: Six. UTHSC, South College - Knoxville, South College - Nashville, Lincoln Memorial University, Lipscomb University, and UAB
Application Submitted Date:
06/03 for UTSHC, LMU, and UAB
Late June for South College Knoxville and Lipscomb
Mid August for South College- Nashville
Schools Received Application Date: Most of the schools received my application in less than a week after it was verified. Verified 2 days after I submitted my CASPA application.
Interview Invites: LMU
Attempts: 2nd (Applied pretty late 1st cycle to 1 school because of graduation/deadline issues so this theoretically would be my 1st real application cycle)
Plan B if all else fails:
1. Pursue an accelerated Masters in Pharmacology to compensate all this waiting since most of these PA schools matriculate in August 2019
2. Take the MCAT. Some PA schools allow MCAT scores and would be a good refresher in basic prerequisite courses.
3. Shadow MD's, PA"s, NP's, PT's
I would greatly appreciate all the strengths and weaknesses in my current application. Any other ideas to improve my application would be helpful as well. Thank you guys so much!
I am a 3rd year neuroscience, with a minor in psychology, Pre-PA student hoping to shadow a PA in any specialty! I am willing to travel to any part in South Florida. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
I figured I would start the thread for this cycle! I applied yesterday 5/21 and CASPA verified 5/22, still waiting for an email confirmation that my application was received. Good luck to everyone this cycle!!!