APA Advocating for Medicaid Reimbursement

On August 1, 2013, Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus (D-MT) and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-UT) sent out an open letter to the mental health community requesting comments on mental health services and access for patients. The Finance Committee has primary jurisdiction over Medicare, asked the mental health community to respond to three specific questions:

  •  What administrative and legislative barriers prevent Medicare and Medicaid recipients from obtaining the mental and behavioral health care they need?
  •  What are the key policies that have led to improved outcomes for beneficiaries in programs that have tried integrated care models?
  •   How can Medicare and Medicaid be cost-effectively reformed to improve access to and quality of care for people with mental and behavioral health needs?

In response APAPO and APA urged the committee to take immediate action on improving psychologist Medicare reimbursement and beneficiary access to the services they provide, among other key issues for psychology. “Medicare and Medicaid can be cost-effectively reformed to improve access to mental and behavioral health services,” state Dr. Norman Anderson and Dr. Katherine Nordal in the letter to the committee as they emphasize fixing the Medicare payment formula, the inclusion of psychologists in the physician definition, repealing the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) and implementing some requirements to improve access to mental health services to patients in Medicare and Medicaid. Here is a link to the letter and other information.

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