Practice PERSPECTIVE ON
Driving innovation to advance
By Dr. Katherine C. Nordal • Executive Director for Professional Practice
From traditional private practice to a broad range of institutional and
organizational settings, psychological practice takes many forms.
The passage of the Affordable Care Act has opened the door to a range of
ways in which psychology is being integrated into health care to meet the
needs of our society. Alternative practice models — such as accountable care
organizations, health-care homes and an array of integrated-
care practice models — are rapidly evolving and offering new
opportunities for psychologists.
Technology, including telehealth and telepsychology services,
online practice management and electronic health records, are
changing the way many psychologists operate their practices. The
growth of clinical practice guidelines, evidence-based practice
models and quality reporting systems are shifting the way in
which many psychologists think about psychological services.
And payment and policy developments related to diagnostic
classification, billing codes and security requirements are leading
to confusion and uncertainty for many of our colleagues.
These innovations in alternative practice models,
technology and payment reform will serve as the bedrock
for the future of psychological practice, so we are dedicating
the 2015 State Leadership Conference (SLC) to practice
innovation. The APA Practice Organization’s 32nd annual
advocacy conference, which will be held March 14–17, will
bring together psychology leaders from across the United
States and Canada to discuss how psychologists can harness
innovation to improve the quality of their services. We will
explore the tools practitioners need to carry psychology
practice forward in these rapidly changing times.
Conference attendees will take these tools and ideas back to
psychologists in their states to implement the changes that will
be vital to the future of psychology. The May issue of Monitor
on Psychology and APAPO’s PracticeUpdate e-newsletter will
feature conference highlights.
This year’s SLC focus builds on our other efforts to keep
practitioners aware of the marketplace and emerging trends.
The fall 2014 issue of APAPO’s award-winning Good Practice
magazine, for example, was devoted to alternative practice
models for psychologists. The content focused on helping
practitioners prepare for the ongoing implementation of
health-care reform and evaluate options for potential practice
Professional, marketplace and regulatory developments
in the evolving health-care landscape are encouraging more
collaborative practices. Insurers, employers and consumers
are demanding better provider performance through quality
outcome and process measurements, patient satisfaction ratings
and lowered cost of care. Federal and state regulations are
pushing for integration through quality improvement programs
and policies that allow integrated provider organizations to
negotiate with health plans. Psychology can’t afford to be left
out at this crucial time.
At this year’s SLC, we will tie together these innovations to
provide psychology leaders with a blueprint of the practice, policy
and technological innovations that are reshaping the way that
many psychologists will work for years to come.
It is critical that we continue to define psychology’s place
both within and outside of the evolving health-care system.
As a society, most of our major human support systems, from
health care to education to human services and criminal
justice, are beleaguered and under tremendous financial
pressure. Psychology holds the promise of improved individual
and societal functioning, but achieving the promise requires
effective delivery systems for psychological services. n
At this year’s SLC, we will tie together these
innovations to provide psychology leaders
with a comprehensive blueprint of the
practice, policy and technological innovations
that are reshaping the way that many
psychologists will work for years to come.