Practice PERSPECTIVE ON
The power of two
BY DR. KATHERINE C. NORDAL • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR FOR PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE
This column is devoted to helping members understand clearly how APA
and its companion, the APA Practice Organization (APAPO), collectively
support the professional interests of practitioners and why membership in
both organizations is vital. APA is a 501(c)( 3) tax-exempt organization under
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rules. As such, APA operates for the
good of the public in advancing charitable, educational or
One of the APA strategic plan’s goals is to expand
psychology’s role in advancing health. Several of our major
activities — including educating the public about the value
of psychologists and psychological services, creating and
disseminating professional and clinical practice guidelines, and
fostering the creation of psychologically healthy workplaces —
serve this goal and benefit both practitioners and the public.
The APA Practice Organization, with its sole focus on
practice, provides additional benefits to licensed APA members
who become members of APAPO by paying the annual Practice
Assessment. APAPO is dedicated exclusively to confronting
challenges and creating opportunities for practitioners in a
changing health care system.
APAPO advocates for practitioners on Capitol Hill, in the
courts and the marketplace. Our key advocacy initiatives include:
• Challenging payment cuts for psychological services by
Medicare and private sector health insurers.
• Supporting litigation and spearheading regulatory action
against abusive managed care practices.
• Advocating for professional psychology as the federal health
care reform law — the Affordable Care Act — is implemented.
• Gaining support for pending legislation to include
psychologists in the Medicare definition of physician.
• Affirming the doctoral standard for independent psychology
practice in collaboration with state psychological associations.
• Confronting assaults on psychologists’ scope of practice.
Created as a 501(c)( 6) organization, APAPO is not subject
to the same IRS restrictions as APA. Limited only by available
resources, the APA Practice Organization is able to engage in a
broad range of advocacy activities like those above in support of
For example, APAPO does not face the monetary caps
on federal lobbying that apply to APA and other 501(c)( 3)
organizations. And we can actively address professional “guild”
issues such as reimbursement — the issue that consistently
tops the list of professional concerns identified by members in
periodic APAPO surveys.
Much of our work in APA Practice reflects the missions of
both APA and APAPO. One example is creating opportunities
for psychologists’ participation in Medicaid as millions of new
beneficiaries are added to the program by 2014.
Providing Medicaid participants with access to
psychological services is consistent with APA’s goals. In
many states, psychologists are not recognized as providers
in Medicaid. Even in states where they are recognized,
psychologists cannot bill for health and behavior services
because most Medicaid programs don’t cover these services.
That’s where APAPO comes into play: confronting barriers
regarding access to and appropriate reimbursement for the full
range of psychologists’ services.
APAPO’s advocacy activities are funded by the Practice
Assessment, not by APA dues. Practice Assessment payments
are not part of your APA membership dues, although they are
billed on your APA dues statement. Nonpayment of the Practice
Assessment to the APAPO does not affect membership in APA.
Every APA dues dollar and Practice Assessment dollar is an
investment in the future of psychology. Together the APA and
the APAPO translate into a powerful voice for psychology and
the profession all year long.
You can pay your APA dues and APAPO Practice Assessment
for 2013 online at http://my.apa.org. Other options include
returning the dues statement you received in the mail or calling
APA Membership Services toll-free at 1-800-374-2721 to renew.
You help others. We are here to help you. Thank you for
your continued membership in APA and the APA Practice