Monitor on Psychology - November 2011 - (Page 20)

Behalf ON YOUR What APA is doing for you n APAPO continues its work to protect Medicare payments At press time, the American Psychological Association Practice Organization (APAPO) was mobilizing members to fend off significant cuts in Medicare reimbursement to psychologists and other providers. Following the passage of the Budget Control Act, a joint committee was created to identify $1.2 trillion in further budget cuts. If the committee fails to reach an agreement that can pass both chambers, Medicare provider payments would be cut by up to 2 percent in addition to the already pending 29.5 percent sustainable growth rate (SGR) cut. Psychologists could face a triple hit because the 5 percent psychotherapy payment restoration — which psychologists have secured through several tough fights since 2008 — is scheduled to expire at the end of 2012 if Congress fails to act. Further complicating the picture, the Medicare Payment Advisory Committee, which was created by Congress for its advice in this area, will soon recommend replacing the SGR with an 18 percent cut to psychologists and other providers over the next three years followed by a payment freeze for seven more years. In late September, APAPO testified before the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health to urge representatives to back the psychotherapy extender, which is also supported by the American Dr. Jerry Suls asked federal legislators to invest in the nation’s Medical Association. APAPO asserts that extending “psychological infrastructure” to ensure people are prepared to face psychologist payments is crucial to protecting the challenges of natural disasters and terrorist attacks. patients’ access to Medicare mental health services. PhD, of the University of Iowa. Psychologists and social workers provide almost Attending to the public’s mental health needs is nearly as all of the Medicare psychotherapy and testing services, and important as securing clean water and providing emergency providers have indicated that they may have to reduce their medical care, Suls told the standing-room-only crowd at a caseloads or leave Medicare if these cuts are enacted. The cost Sept. 12 congressional briefing on disasters and public health. of protecting mental health services is very low, increasing “It’s easy to look at buildings that have been destroyed,” said costs by only $30 million per year. Suls. “You can at least get in there and try to fix that. It’s not so easy to fix people’s attitudes and feelings.” n U.S. needs more psychological preparation At the briefing, sponsored by the Coalition for Health for disasters Funding, a group of 72 nonprofit organizations including APA, The psychological damage caused by tornadoes and terrorist Suls shared his research showing how floods, tornados, terrorist attacks can outlast the harm done to buildings, bridges and attacks and other disasters cause many people to feel fatalistic, people’s physical health, according to psychologist Jerry Suls, 20 M O N I TO R O N P S YC H O L O G Y • N OV E M B E R 2 0 1 1 Lloyd Wolf

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Monitor on Psychology - November 2011

Monitor on Psychology - November 2011
President’s Column
Guest Column
‘Grand Challenges’ offers blueprint for mental health research
Documentary seeks to reach parents of LGBT kids
Treating veterans will cost at least $5 billion by 2020
Selfless volunteering might lengthen your life
Combat and stress up among U.S. military in Afghanistan
South Africa to host international psychology conference
Study uncovers a reason behind sex differences in mental illness
Navy psychologist gives a voice to combat trauma
In Brief
Psychologist suicide
On Your Behalf
Journey back to Heart Mountain
Psychology is key to pain management, report finds
ACT goes international
Judicial Notebook
Random Sample
Time Capsule
Science Watch
Behavior change in 15-minute sessions?
Health-care reform 2.0
Perspective on Practice
Giving a heads up on concussion
Practice Profile
Searching for meaning
Inspiring young researchers
Aging, with grace
Public Interest
Thank you!
APA News
Division Spotlight
American Psychological Foundation
The man who gave Head Start a start

Monitor on Psychology - November 2011