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.

 

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.

 

ACTIVITIES

Activities of the Taskforce in progress:

  1. Working on official approval by CMS/Medicare of racemic ketamine for pain.

  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. Begin research on how ketamine improves activities of daily living in pain patients.

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.

 
 

ABOUT

Co-Chairs

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

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. 

Lindsay Corley

Lindsay Corley is a Ketamine patient who started advocacy work after her own treatments were stopped when the insurance company denied payment. She has spoken before for the FDA, challenged major insurance companies and successfully lobbied her senator to expand coverage for Ketamine Infusions. Lindsay is an award-winning journalist who has produced daily newscasts and documentaries for a national news network. She is able to currently work at a full-time job as the marketing manager for a non-profit because of the pain relief she receives from Ketamine Infusions. She has also served as a chaplain caring for both pediatric and adult patients in Atlanta hospitals. In her free time, she enjoys running, traveling and hiking with her rescue labrador retriever Eden.

Vice Chairs

Allison Wells, MD, MBA, FASA

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.

Anh L. Ngo, MD, MBA

Anh L. Ngo, MD MBA, is a board-certified anesthesiologist and a Harvard trained interventional pain medicine physician at Pain Specialty Group in Newington, New Hampshire. Dr. Ngo takes a multidisciplinary approach to pain management, offering the most effective and innovative treatments available, from interventional procedures to holistic approaches, to help his patients find relief from their pain for a better quality of life. Dr. Ngo completed his undergraduate degree from the School of Biological Sciences, Doctorate of Medicine from the School of Medicine, and Masters in Business Administration with an emphasis in Information Technology Management from the Paul Merage School of Business at the University of California, Irvine. Dr. Ngo completed his residency in anesthesiology at the University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine in Los Angeles and worked in private practice for a decade prior to pursuing an academic career as faculty at Harvard Medical School.  He completed his fellowship training in Interventional Pain Medicine at Harvard University. 

Dedicated to his profession, Dr. Ngo served as a faculty member at the University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine and then Harvard Medical School and is currently a member of the Committee on Admissions at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Ngo is a member of many professional organizations, including the American Society of Anesthesiologists, American Society of Regional Anesthesia, American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians, American Academy of Pain Medicine, North American Neuromodulation Society, International Neuromodulation Society, American Society of Ketamine Physicians and the American Society of Pain and Neuroscience.  He is trained to perform numerous specialized and advanced pain management procedures including spinal cord stimulation, intrathecal pump therapy, kyphoplasty, radiofrequency ablation of tumors in the vertebral spine, and minimally invasive lumbar decompression (MILD) procedure. Dr. Ngo performed the first-ever MILD procedure in New Hampshire Seacoast. Dr. Ngo is published nationally and internationally in academic journals and medical textbooks. He has lectured at many professional societies and meetings, including the American Academy of Rheumatology, American Telehealth Association and the American Association of Peri-Operative Registered Nurses.

Throughout his training and career, Dr. Ngo has given much of his time back to the communities he serves and has started many nonprofit organizations including The Orange County Swim for Kids, The Vietnamese Community Camp for Kids, and UCI CampMed. 

More information about Dr. Ngo can be found on his Harvard Catalyst profile.

Ivana Mitic, MSN, CRNA

Ivana Mitic, CRNA, received a Master of Science in Anesthesiology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore in 2012. Prior to becoming a CRNA, Ivana obtained a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from South Dakota State University in 2006. Ivana has been board certified by the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists since 2013 and is a proud member of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists since 2010 and American Society of Ketamine Physicians, Providers, and Practitioners since 2017. While practicing nursing, Ivana cared for patients in all stages of life. Ivana’s nursing specialties were recovery room, emergency and intensive care nursing. Since becoming a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, Ivana has anesthetized thousands of patients in the Baltimore area. Since early 2018, Ivana has been providing Ketamine Infusion Therapy for mental health and chronic pain conditions.

Research Team

Tracy Richards, CRNA, MSN, BSN

Tracy Richards, CRNA, has been a nurse for over 19 years and has practiced anesthesia for over 8 years. She started and operates Wyoming Wellness Center where she provides safe and compassionate care for patients suffering from mental health conditions and chronic pain syndromes using ketamine. She received her CRNA/MSN from the UPMC-Hamot School of Anesthetist / Gannon University and has received awards for her clinical excellence. She has been a member of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists and the American Society of Anesthesiologists since 2010.

Alison McInnes, MD, MS

Dr. McInnes is a nationally recognized expert in psychiatry, mood and anxiety disorders, ketamine treatment and psychedelic medicine. She is currently Medical Director 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.

Jimmy Qian, MS

Jimmy is co-founder and COO of Osmind, the leading software solution for ketamine clinics and treatment-resistant mental health. Jimmy is an MD Candidate at Stanford University School of Medicine, where he works with researchers in anesthesiology and psychiatry. He has received awards for his research in digital health and mathematical biology as well as the Medical Scholars Research Fellowship from Stanford. He has also co-founded and led three nonprofits (all of which are still active and successful) spanning community healthcare for underserved populations, immersive technologies for pediatric healthcare, and life sciences research. Jimmy holds Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees from the University of Pennsylvania.

Lucia Huang, MBA

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.

Technology Partner

Osmind

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.

CONTACT

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HELPFUL LINKS

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© 2020 by The Ketamine Taskforce for Access to Care and Insurance Coverage