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GPA Membership Newsfeed: GPA News

Grassroots Campaign on the Medicare Mental Health Access Act

Thursday, September 5, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Hannah Steinberg

 

APA has launched its “100 Co-sponsors in 100 Days” campaign to increase grassroots activity in support of H.R. 884, the Medicare Mental Health Access Act, which would remove the physician signoff requirement by including clinical psychologists in the program’s “physician” definition. Psychologists are the only doctoral-level health-care provider not allowed to practice autonomously in all settings. APA is working with its Federal Advocacy Coordinators to hold in-district meetings with U.S. representatives and to increase contacts to members of Congress from state psychological associations. For Georgia these Representatives and their Congressional Districts are Earl Carter (1), Drew Ferguson (3), John Lewis (5) and Lucy McBath (6).

GPA Federal Advocacy Coordinator Dr. Jennifer Kelly, a leader in working for appropriate reimbursement for mental and behavioral health services, notes that “we have been working towards this for a long period of time.  Passage of this legislation would allow us to be equal partners on the treatment team, to practice as we are so well-trained to do anyway within the full scope of our license. It is also important as it addresses vulnerable populations and seniors who often bear the brunt of the effects of health disparities.”

 If you are a constituent of any of these Representatives and are interested in volunteering to take a leading role in advocacy for this issue, please contact Anita Brown, GPA Director of Professional Affairs at dpa@gapsychology.org.  For everyone else-please stand by for more to follow!

On a related note, APA is collecting stories from Medicare-participating psychologists on the requirement that physicians must authorize psychologists’ services in facility-based settings. How does this mandate affect you, your patients and your practice? Examples of such testimonials can be found here. If you or your colleagues have had similar experiences, send them to pracgovt@apa.org.