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MISSION STATEMENT

To ensure access for pain and mental health patients to safe ketamine infusions through the approval of insurance companies to cover the infusions and provide a fair rate to ketamine providers for their time and work.

 

A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the Ketamine Taskforce is made up of a group of patients, doctors, nurse anesthetists, nurse practitioners and researchers who came together when they saw that there was a need to help people who are struggling to get access to ketamine infusions due to the lack of sufficient insurance coverage. We recognize that ketamine can be an important element in a care plan for treating pain and mental health and that it should not be reserved only for those with the means to pay out of pocket.

Our 501(c)(3) nonprofit status has been verified by GuideStar (see our profile on GuideStar). Please help us in our fight to make sure every patient has access to life-saving treatments by donating.

 

ACTIVITIES

Activities of the Taskforce competed/in progress:

  1. In June 2021, we submitted our application to CMS/Medicare for a National Coverage Determination of racemic ketamine as a treatment for CRPS and pain.​​​​ An NCD would mean that insurance companies would no longer be able to deny coverage on the grounds that ketamine is experimental to treat CRPS.

  2. Create a new CPT Code and get it approved by the AMA to increase reimbursement for ketamine infusions in time for the next set of CPT codes which will be released in 2023.

  3. Created an Advocacy Clinic Consortium composed of clinics across the country working together to generate real-world evidence of how ketamine improves activities of daily living in pain patients.

  4. In early 2022, our technology partner Osmind published the largest real-world analysis of ketamine infusion therapy for depression. The peer-reviewed research article provided further evidence that ketamine is a rapid and effective treatment for depression, and was the first to demonstrate that real-world outcomes in clinics across the US were robust and durable. This work can be used to advocate for insurance coverage of ketamine infusion therapy. You can use this manuscript and/or its key findings as supporting documentation for conversations with payers or upstream providers (e.g. PCPs). When providers or patients seek coverage for ketamine for depression, you can include the abstract or entire paper in your requests for consideration to payers. This could be part of an initial request or it could be submitted when appealing an initial denial. This approach is relevant for requesting out-of-network reimbursement, in-network reimbursement, or single case agreements.

Next activities:

  1. Submit an application to CMS/Medicare for approval of racemic ketamine for mental health.

  2. Begin research to show which protocols work best to help both pain and mental health patients achieve the best results.

 
 
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Kimberly Juroviesky, CAPT USAF (retired), WHNP, CNM

President

Kimberly Juroviesky is a retired Nurse Practitioner and Nurse Midwife who trained at Columbia University and The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. She was injured on active duty while in the USAF and developed Complex Regional Pain Syndrome which unfortunately, forced her to retire from her career early. Kimberly began getting Ketamine Infusions in 2015 as part of a research study. While they don’t make her pain levels disappear, they do bring them down to what she describes as “liveable levels”. Kimberly has always been driven to help people so she started up a Facebook group to support patients in their Ketamine journeys. Kimberly also started a second Facebook group to allow Ketamine providers to connect with one another. Kimberly also wrote a book to help patients to know what to expect during their infusions called Ketamine Infusions: A Patient’s Guide. Kimberly has found a new passion in being an advocate for the use of Ketamine to treat both mental health and pain diagnoses. She advocates for and talks with both patients and providers around the globe on a daily basis. 

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Renee C. St.Clair, Esq.

Vice President

Ms. St.Clair is an Attorney At Law with twenty-five years in private practice, including twelve years as co-owner, co-manager, and partner of a Southern California law firm, England, Ponticello & St.Clair.  She is a state certified workers’ compensation specialist, was voted amongst the top employment attorneys in California in 2008, is a recognized expert in the medical-legal application of the AMA Guides To The Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, and proudly capped off her professional legal career as part of a legal team successfully litigating a maritime law case before The Supreme Court of the United States in 2018.  She is admitted to practice before The Supreme Court of the United States, the U.S. Court of Appeals For Veterans Claims, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, and the Supreme Court of California.

 

While Ms. St.Clair’s profession is in the legal field, her passion lies with mental health treatment issues; specifically assuring parity in accessing advanced psychiatric treatments such as TMS, ketamine, psilocybin and other psychedelic medications soon to be approved for mainstream use.  She served as COO of Kadima Neuropsychiatry Institute, where she began advocacy on behalf of San Diego veterans seeking ketamine treatment in the community under the Mission Act.

 

Ms. St.Clair firmly believes that mental health, well-being, and life-saving treatments, such as ketamine, should not be out of reach of those without the means to pay the costly clinic fees.  Thus, she joined our team as an advisor and advocate to help push for Medicare and insurance coverage of ketamine for patients suffering from chronic pain, depression, and/or suicidal ideation.   

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Allison Wells, MD, MBA, FASA

Vice President

Dr. Wells is a licensed, board-certified anesthesiologist who is experienced in providing anesthesia in multiple settings and types of cases. Her passion is helping patients achieve optimal outcomes in a safe, professional and comfortable manner.

Dr. Wells started and operates Lone Star Infusion in Houston, Texas - one of the first clinics dedicated to providing Ketamine Infusions for psychiatric and pain treatments including depression, anxiety, CRPS and other conditions. She collaborates on ongoing research and has contributed to best practices development, published studies and lectures. She continues to work for the advancement of effective treatments for the benefits of patients in need. Dr. Wells holds degrees from Swarthmore College and Baylor College of Medicine. She trained at Baylor College of Medicine and Harvard University. She is a member of the American Society of Anesthesiologists, the Texas Society of Anesthesiologists, the Texas Medical Association, the American College of Healthcare Executives, and the American Association of Physician Leaders.

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Carlene MacMillan, MD

Research Team

Carlene MacMillan, MD is Medical Director at Osmind, the leading software solution for ketamine clinics and treatment-resistant mental health. She is also the co-Founder and CEO of Brooklyn Minds Psychiatry, a multidisciplinary team-based multi-site practice in the NYC Region. She is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Medical School and completed her adult psychiatry residency and child and adolescent fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital/McLean Hospital. Dr. Macmillan has a long-standing interest in helping individuals with severe, persistent and complex mental illness. Prior to relocating to NYC, she was an attending on the Trauma and Dissociative Unit at McLean Hospital. In NY, she has held a faculty position at the NYU Langone School of Medicine and was the founding Medical Director of the Ellenhorn  NYC Private Assertive Community Treatment Team, a leader in community integration and championing "hospitals without walls".  Her practice was an early adopter of providing Esketamine and obtaining insurance coverage for it. She has had extensive experience in advocating for increased insurance-based access to psychiatric services at the local and national level. As part of her work for a non-profit called Emotions Matter, she drafted a guide for clinicians and families to use to obtain Single Case Agreements for coverage of evidence-based treatments for Borderline Personality Disorder. She is an active member of the Clinical Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Society Insurance Committee, which fosters working relationships with payers and develops ideal policies for coverage of TMS. These experiences can translate well into advocating for adequate coverage of interventions such as ketamine infusions for mental health indications. Dr.MacMillan also is working with payers around innovative Value Based Care payment models which lend themselves well to many of the psychedelic medicine interventions Dr.MacMillan also serves as the Co-Chair of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Consumer Issues Committee which publishes psychoeducational resources for patients and families on a wide range of mental health topics. She is a former member of the APA Assembly and was very active in the Massachusetts Psychiatric Society throughout residency and fellowship prior to relocating to New York several years ago. 

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Alison McInnes, MD, MS

Research Team

Dr. McInnes is a nationally recognized expert in psychiatry, mood and anxiety disorders, ketamine treatment and psychedelic medicine. She is currently Vice President of Medical Affairs at Osmind, the leading software solution for ketamine clinics and treatment-resistant mental health. She founded and served as Medical Director for Kaiser Permanente's ketamine infusion therapy program for a number of years. She was an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai School of Medicine for 8 years where she ran a lab in psychiatric genetics, and is currently a clinical professor at UCSF. In her current clinical practice, she focuses on ketamine-assisted psychotherapy. Dr. McInnes received Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Stanford University and her MD from Columbia University. She completed psychiatry residency at UCSF and research at the VA Research Fellowship and Howard Hughes Physician Research Fellowship in Psychiatric Genetics at UCSF.

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Lucia Huang, MBA

Research Team

Lucia is co-founder and CEO of Osmind, the leading software solution for ketamine clinics and treatment-resistant mental health. Lucia previously worked to help cure ALS and Parkinson’s at Verge Genomics, an AI-driven neuroscience biotech startup. At Verge, she helped scale the company from seed to post-Series A. She previously invested in innovative healthcare technology companies at Warburg Pincus. Lucia started her career advising pharmaceutical companies in investment banking. Lucia graduated Yale with a B.S. in Chemistry and earned an MBA at Stanford Graduate School of Business, where she was also awarded a Certificate in Public Management and Social Innovation. At Stanford, Lucia focused her studies on healthcare and co-led the GSB Healthcare Club. Lucia is passionate about mental health and has devoted her career to improving healthcare, from life sciences to new technology innovation.

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Erin Wright

Treasurer

Erin has a degree in Marketing from Thomas Jefferson University and a MAT in Elementary Education from Monmouth University. Unfortunately, since getting CRPS in 2007, Erin lost her career. Erin is a moderator on the Ketamine Facebook group and helps to answer patient questions. Erin began Ketamine Infusions for CRPS in 2017 and says they saved her life. Erin loves to read and loves the English language. She helps with Freelance Proofreading and Editing when her CRPS allows it.

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Melanie Hodin

Secretary

Melanie was born and raised in sunny Arizona and is a graduate of Arizona State University. She started her career in corporate Human Resources and eventually stepped down to stay home with her kids. She decided to go back to school to study nursing, even receiving full scholarship after completing her perquisites, but was sidelined due to a back injury. Melanie has dealt with low back pain, chronic pelvic floor dysfunction, vulvodynia and pudendal neuralgia as well as anxiety and depression for almost two decades. She is tireless in her fight to get the treatments she deserves covered by insurance. Ketamine is one of the major tools in her toolbox that helps her live a more functional life and she is honored to help as Secretary for the Ketamine Task Force.

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Mish Burton

Graphic Designer

Mish Burton is an accomplished designer and photographer - creating marketing and branding materials for the websites and retail stores of companies like Apple and Sephora. As was the case with many freelance creatives who came of age during the economic recession following the 2008 stock market crash, Mish developed a versatile set of skills in order to weather the financial storm of the following decade. They excelled in graphic design, website development, computer programming, and web UX. Unlike many millennials, Mish also had to contend with the onset of a rare autoimmune condition that eventually made professional photography impossible due to physical limitations. After a botched ankle surgery that left them unable to walk for four years, ketamine therapy gave them their life back. Outside of work, Mish helps advocate for medicinal ketamine applications and queer rights. They graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design with a degree in photography. None of this matters to their adorable cat, Grimoire, but that’s ok, because she is just a cat.

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Osmind

Technology Partner

Osmind is a Public Benefit Corporation founded with the goal of maximizing patient access to innovative mental health and pain treatments. Osmind is the leading software solution for ketamine clinics and clinicians in the treatment-resistant mental health space, with over 150 ketamine clinics covered across 30+ states. Uniquely integrated with a patient engagement app, the Osmind mood tracker and EHR improve clinical outcomes for patients while saving time and money for clinicians. The Task Force has chosen Osmind as its exclusive Technology Partner because of Osmind's status as the software leader in the space and its commitment to democratizing research and empowering clinicians. As part of the Task Force, and to help foster fair insurance coverage of ketamine treatment, Osmind helps clinics opt in to contribute information to the Task Force and participate in advocacy efforts.

 

You can also email ketaminetaskforce@gmail.com

CLINICAL TRIAL

The Cleo clinical trial is evaluating a new oral form of esketamine to see if it may reduce symptoms of depression. If you have tried at least 2 medications for your depression and have not seen sufficient improvement, this study may be an option.

Why Participate

  • Potentially getting better from depression

  • All study-related care, including assigned study medication, at no cost

  • Financial compensation and free car service to the study site

  • Close monitoring of your depression by an experienced clinical team

  • The opportunity to advance medical science for depression that does not respond adequately to other medications

HELPFUL LINKS

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CONTACT

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