Behalf ON YOUR
What APA is doing for you
n APA continues support for HIV prevention
In an Oct. 18 letter to President Barack Obama, APA urged the
administration to oppose efforts to reinstate a ban on the use of
federal funds for needle-exchange programs. The letter, which
outlined the strong research illustrating the efficacy of syringe
exchange in reducing HIV transmission, was also signed by 17
n Advocacy continues to block Medicare
At Monitor press time, the APA Practice Organization (APAPO)
was continuing its advocacy to avert steep cuts to Medicare
reimbursement for psychologists. On Nov. 1, the Centers for
Medicare and Medicaid Services released its final rule on the
2012 Medicare fee schedule. The rule includes several payment
changes that affect reimbursement for psychological services.
The most substantial payment reduction involves a portion of
the Medicare formula known as the Sustainable Growth Rate
(SGR). Although slightly better than the 29. 5 percent reduction
projected earlier in the year, the SGR cut for 2012 will be 27. 4
percent unless Congress takes action to block it.
The SGR payment formula ties Medicare provider payments
to factors related to the national economy. In recent years, the
formula would have automatically cut most provider payments
if Congress had not acted to postpone the scheduled payment
cuts. Congress has blocked the SGR cut 12 times since 2001.
Over time, these postponements protected against increasing
percentage cuts in provider payments.
APAPO has lobbied Congress throughout 2011 to halt
the use of the SGR. Through grassroots mobilization of
psychologists in the Federal Advocacy Network and meetings
with key congressional offices, APAPO has worked to educate
members of Congress about the severe consequences of cuts
to reimbursement for both patients and providers. For more
information, go to www.apapracticecentral.org.
n APA facilitates introduction of interpersonal
In October, APA’s Public Interest Government Relations Office,
along with APA member Jacquelyn White, PhD, from the
University of North Carolina at Greensboro, worked with Sen.
Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) in support of the introduction of the
Consolidation of Grants to Strengthen the Healthcare System’s
Response to Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual
Assault, and Stalking Act (S. 1765). This legislation focuses on
strengthening the health-care system’s response to those issues
and is similar to APA-supported legislation introduced by Rep.
Louise Slaughter (D-N. Y.) in the House of Representatives
earlier this year.
n APA chairs Rosalynn Carter Symposium panel on
APA’s Diane Elmore, PhD, MPH, moderated a panel on
domestic violence and children at the Annual Rosalynn Carter
Symposium on Mental Health Policy in Atlanta on Oct. 26.
Elmore, associate executive director of APA’s Public Interest
Government Relations Office, highlighted APA’s efforts of
relevance to the topic, including recent APA task forces on
Children and Trauma, Resilience in the Aftermath of War,
Child Maltreatment Prevention in Community Health Centers,
Sexualization of Girls, and Resilience in African American
Children and Adolescents. In addition, she discussed the work
of the APA Violence Prevention Office and PI-GRO policy
efforts, including ongoing support for the National Child
Traumatic Stress Network, the Child Abuse Prevention and
Treatment Act, and the Violence Against Women Act.
n Efforts continue to help child victims of trauma
APA’s Public Interest Government Relations Office joined
leaders of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network to host
a webinar for network members on Nov. 9, entitled “Delivering
Trauma Care to Families: Policy Issues and Implications.” The
event focused on policy issues related to the delivery of trauma-informed evidence-based care to children and families affected
by traumatic events and the role of scientists, providers and
families in advocacy efforts.