The PRMS Blog

PRMS Supports NAMIWalks Once Again

Rain did not stop another successful NAMIWalksNYC event from happening this May at the South Street Seaport Promenade in New York City. PRMS was delighted to once again sponsor several psychiatric societies’ participation in NAMIWalks 2017.

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) provides free support, education and advocacy programs for individuals with mental illness and their families. To learn more about NAMIWalks, please visit their website.

Jenna Quinn, PRMS Events Manager, joined the “Jacobi Ninjas,” a team from Jacobi Medical Center located in Bronx, NY. Chris Torre, PRMS Account Advisor, walked again with “Montefiore Psychiatry” from Montefiore Medical Center also located in Bronx, NY.

Jenna Quinn (far left) walked with the Jacobi Ninjas.

Chris Torre (far left) joined Team Montefiore once again.

Check out our prior posts about NAMIWalks: “‘Bronxters’ Back At It: Raising Money in NAMIWalksNYC 2016 and ‘GLIPS’ Starting a Tradition with NAMIWalks Long Island/Queens 2016” and “Walking With ‘The Bronxters’ to Support Mental Health.”

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Indiana Law Change: Out of Network Provider Referrals

On April 24, 2017, the Indiana Governor signed into law a bill that specifies notice requirements for network health care providers that make referrals to out of network health care providers. Beginning after December 31, 2017, the new requirements apply to referrals made for any patient for any service outside the referring health care provider’s office or hospital practice.

Under the new law, the provider must supply a covered patient with an electronic or paper copy of written notice that states the following:

  • That an out of network provider may be called upon to render health care items or services to the covered individual during treatment.
  • The out of network provider is not bound by the payment provisions that apply to health care items or services rendered by a network provider under the covered individual’s health plan.
  • The covered individual may contact the covered individual’s health plan before receiving health care items or services rendered by an out of network provider to obtain a list of network providers that may render the health care items or services and for additional assistance.


The new law does not apply to the following:

  • A referral for treatment of an emergency medical condition.
  • A referral made immediately following treatment of an emergency medical condition and by the provider that rendered the treatment of the emergency medical condition.
  • A referral for medically or psychologically necessary therapeutic services rendered to an admitted patient in a hospital or another facility to which a patient may be admitted for more than twenty-four hours.


This new law can be viewed here.

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Guest Blog: Mentor Program Solidifies Student’s Career Choice as Psychiatrist

As a part of PRMS’ ongoing commitment to behavioral health we invited Sally Winkelman, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Psychiatric Association, to be featured as our guest blogger this month.

Shannon Friedbacher, a fourth year medical student at the Medical College of Wisconsin, knows that psychiatry is the field of medicine she will pursue after graduation. Part of her decision rests with the mentoring she has received from James Rutherford, MD, a community psychiatrist working with the Waukesha County Mental Health Department. The two were paired more than a year ago through the Wisconsin Psychiatric Association’s (WPA) Mentor Program.

“Without a doubt, Dr. Rutherford has played a role in my decision to pursue a career in psychiatry, and to apply for psychiatric residency training,” says Friedbacher. “With the experience I’ve gained working alongside him, I know I too can really make a difference by serving patients in Wisconsin in need of mental healthcare.”

Friedbacher has been a resident of the greater Milwaukee community her entire life. Not only is she now more certain than ever about her decision to become a psychiatrist, but she is deeply committed to serving the psychiatric needs right here at home. The WPA Mentor Program has reinforced her desire to continue to train in Wisconsin and then to practice as a psychiatrist and serve the people of Wisconsin for the long haul.

The mentor program was designed to provide medical students with an opportunity to experience the specialty of psychiatry that they may not otherwise have an opportunity to experience in medical school.

Friedbacher admits that while she has been fortunate to have great faculty preceptors and instructors, being paired with community psychiatrists not affiliated with medical school offers her a different perspective and a new dynamic. “With faculty, there is always a need to be on guard,” she says. “But that’s not the case in the mentor program.”

Rutherford concurs. “The nebulous nature of what the life of a psychiatrist might be like is diminished through this program. Students learn not only about patient care outside of the academic setting, but also have an opportunity to really get to know their mentors,” he said.

Friedbacher did not always know she wanted to go into psychiatry. However, she realized early on that she wanted to attend medical school, despite taking the nontraditional path of starting out in manufacturing sales career. Now in medical school, she is being introduced to many different medical specialties through her rotations, but the exposure to any one specialty is limited. Programs like the WPA Mentor Program offer students a much deeper understanding of a specialty, in this case psychiatry.

Working in the community setting highlights the prevalence of mental health issues in society. Primary care providers including family physicians and pediatricians are increasingly faced with managing not just the physical, but the mental health of their patients. Rutherford stresses that responsible integration of care with psychiatrists is important.

In his role with Waukesha County, Rutherford has seen steps being taken to enhance integrated care for the benefit of patients. One example is the County’s implementation of a new crisis intervention program to meet an increased need for services. He praised Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow for being a friend of mental health. “He understands the concerns, the issues and the needs of patients suffering from mental illness,” says Rutherford.

In her time shadowing Rutherford, Friedbacher has witnessed the commitment of local government to mental health, and by seeing that support system within the community is another clear sign that psychiatry is the right career for her. “Psychiatry excites me,” she says. “It is a specialty that provides me the high probability of an interesting and stimulating career, not to mention career longevity.”

Friedbacher states that she has thoroughly enjoyed her time working alongside Rutherford, and is grateful for the exposure to the field of psychiatry that the Mentor Program has offered.  “I look forward to a day when I can pay it forward and serve as a WPA mentor myself.”

For more information about the WPA Mentor Program, visit the WPA website or contact Sally Winkelman, Executive Director, 920-560-5643 or

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The Life of PRMS: Lauren Dwyer, Account Advisor

I joined the PRMS family on April 302012 as an Account Representative in the Underwriting Department and am now an Account Advisor.

Before joining PRMS, I worked at a much larger company where I did not know the names of half their employees.  I am now approaching my fifth year with PRMS and I can honestly say that it has been a wonderful experience working with highly talented professionals that I have gotten to know as family instead of just colleagues.

Over the years I have spoken to so many of insured clients and it has always been a pleasure to be part of providing the same excellent services that PRMS is well known for.

I have also benefited from the educational resources PRMS offers and this has enhanced my working knowledge of behavior healthcare and the community it serves.

I look forward to many more years of working with our clients and being part of the PRMS family.

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PRMS Celebrates Bike to Work Day Every Day

Once a year, Washington DC-area cyclists take part in the annual Bike to Work Day. As an avid cyclist, I look forward to this day with great anticipation as there are pit stops, fun, music and bikes everywhere. I have volunteered at this event for several years to help spread the joy of cycling and to help answer questions for those who just started or are thinking about commuting by bike. That is because for over 10 years, I have commuted by bike to the PRMS office in Arlington, Virginia. We are truly lucky in this area as we have great trails, bike lanes and infrastructure that lead directly to our office.

I typically commute on my bike year-round and enjoy the challenge when it is raining or temperatures are below freezing. (Which still amazes some of my colleagues when I come in dripping wet or wrapped up with layers like a mummy.) With traffic and crowded mass-transit as the main options to and from work, I find my alternate transportation choice to be cathartic and a way to clear my head. I often run into people that I know in the bike community on my rides, stop into stores, or take the long way home through peaceful neighborhoods and watch the seasons change. Best of all, I can sneak in some exercise into my day without having to go to the gym.

This year, my colleagues Jenna Quinn, Austin Main, and Max Ahmadi also participated in Bike to Work Day. Jenna was inspired by the event to make it her first commute by bike ever. Austin began occasionally bike commuting a few years ago, using the DC-area bikeshare system. He enjoyed his bike commute so much that he and his wife both purchased bikes so that they could occasionally ride to work together. Meanwhile, Max mixes up his 20-mile round-trip bike commute some days by driving in and riding home…and vice-versa. In the halls, you can often hear us talking about our bikes, equipment and where we rode over the weekend or after work.

From left to right: Max Ahmadi, Jenna Quinn, Austin Main and Megan Jones.

After work, I am deeply involved in the cycling community including sitting on the Arlington County Bicycle Advisory Committee as Vice Chair, racing on the all-women’s cycling team Team Sticky Fingers, and participating in and raising funds for the Washington Area Bicyclist Association’s Women & Bicycles Program.  I deeply believe that getting more people on bikes will help improve city infrastructure, improve the overall environment and community mental wellness.

I enjoy being the unofficial Bike Ambassador for PRMS and am happy that I have been able to inspire others to get on their bikes. Later this year, PRMS will also be putting together a team to support the Break the Cycle of Children’s Mental Illness fundraiser. We plan to join the ride in the last leg of the event into Washington, DC and look forward to our official launching the PRMS team very soon.

Megan Jones is Head of Strategic Sales and Analytics and joined PRMS in 1997.


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