Breaking news from APA
Federal policymakers heard what psychology had to say: In response to an urgent call from APA in late September, more than 6,000 psychologists voiced their concerns about a proposed federal rule that would put older and vulnerable Americans at risk of losing access to the psychotherapy, testing, and health and behavior services due to a proposed federal rule.
“The outpour of concern from psychologists to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) was exactly what was needed to point out that 44 million vulnerable Americans could lose access to mental health treatment,” said APA Chief Advocacy Officer Katherine B. McGuire. “We are grateful to those of you who provided comments — sharing how this would personally affect the individuals you work with — and to those who helped spread the word. We will continue to closely monitor developments as the CMS rule is being finalized.”
The proposed rule from CMS calls for psychologists who treat Medicare patients to get a 7% cut in their reimbursement starting in 2021.
In response, APA launched an advocacy campaign aimed at blocking this cut. In email messages and on social media, APA urged psychologists and those who support the field to write to CMS to protest the changes. And submit they did.
Psychologists’ efforts stood out among the many groups opposing reimbursement cuts, emphasizing the impact members can make by mobilizing and working together. The media singled out psychologists’ efforts, quoting APA’s comment letter.
Still energized, many members are wondering what else they can do.
“We appreciate the efforts of all psychologists to protect reimbursement and help to ensure older and vulnerable Americans receive the critical mental health care they need,” said Jared Skillings, PhD, ABPP, APA chief of professional practice. “CMS decisions are made on a strict timetable. The best thing psychologists can do now is to wait for the final rule to be posted in November and evaluated by our legal and health care financing experts. Then we can put out another call to action as needed.”
Stay informed about changes to billing and reimbursement by reading Practice Update, Member Update and following APA on social media. Visit APA Services’ Reimbursement webpage for more information and resources on Medicare, codes and billing.