News and Notes for APA District Branches/State Associations

August 2022

What’s New at the APA

  • APA’s Board of Trustees approved several official position statements on issues affecting mental health care for millions of Americans. The statements represent official APA policy on issues like the need for continued research into the use of psychedelics to treat psychiatric disorders, the role of psychiatry in care of patients with HIV, and the mental health needs of immigrants and people affected by forced displacement. You can read more and access the full text of the new position statements here.
  • APA applauded the passage of H.R. 4040, the Advancing Telehealth Beyond COVID-19 Act by the U.S. House of representatives. This bipartisan legislation would extend several critical telehealth flexibilities implemented as part of the PHE until January 2025. Provisions included in the act also provide for expanding Medicare coverage to include audio-only telehealth, including for behavioral health services.  You can read the full statement on H.R. 4040 here.
  • The American Psychiatric Association Foundation (APAF) awarded a Disaster Relief grant in the amount of $20K to “Languages of Care” to support the organization’s work to translate and provide mental health related resources and support to the people of Ukraine. The Ukraine Disaster Relief Fund is designed to support human services organizations that are addressing the mental health and well-being of Ukrainian refugees, as well as those who are still in harm’s way inside the country. You can read more about Languages of Care and the Ukraine Disaster Relief Fund here.

Key Dates and Observances

APA Communications staff maintains a calendar of key dates, observances and events at APA and in the world of mental health in general. The calendar is kept up to date a few months in advance. You can view the calendar and keep track of important mental health dates and observances here.

Social Media Assets

APA is sharing infographics on disorders and its Healthy Minds Monthly polls for distribution on social media. Take a look at what’s available here.

August Course of the Month – Youth Anxiety: Up-to-Date Clinical Treatment and Research

Anxiety disorders in youth affect one in eight children or adolescents. This course will feature key issues faced by youth with anxiety disorders from underserved groups. The goal of this presentation is to enhance understanding of the experience of underserved and other youth dealing with anxiety disorders.

Click here to access the Course of the Month and sign up for updates about this free member benefit.

APA’s Practice Management HelpLine Can Assist with Insurance Audit Issues

If you are having audit issues with a private insurer please contact the APA’s Practice Management HelpLine, practicemanagement@psych.org, and tell them what’s been going on.  In recent months the HelpLine has seen a marked increase in the number of contacts with members who are being audited by commercial insurers.  The APA would like to hear from any other members who are experiencing audit issues to help us understand the extent of the problem and formulate a remedy for what seems, in many cases to be an unnecessary burden, that is hindering access to care.

You can read about this issue in Psychiatric News: Members Report Uptick in Plans’ Claims Denials, Scrutiny, and Hassles | Psychiatric News (psychiatryonline.org) and in the  letter the APA has sent to  the Department of Labor APA Letter to DOL on Lack of Parity Enforcement (psychiatry.org) with whom we are having ongoing discussions on possible parity violations.

Telepsychiatry Fraud Alert from the Office of Inspector General 

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) has issued a special alert warning physicians and other health care professionals of the fraud and abuse risks associated with arrangements with telemedicine companies.

“OIG is aware that many practitioners have appropriately used telehealth services during the current public health emergency to provide medically necessary care to their patients,” the alert stated. However, OIG encourages physicians and other health care professionals to use heightened scrutiny before entering into arrangements with telemedicine companies. View the OIG alert.  See the APA Telepsychiatry Toolkit.

Mental Health Innovation Exchange Coming in August

The Mental Health Innovation Exchange, to be held virtually on Aug. 18 and 19, 2022, is APA’s showcase and catalyst for the advancement of mental health technologies. It is focused on answering the question “What’s next in mental health technology?” This event is free for all APA members. Learn more and register

Register for the Mental Health Services Conference

APA’s Mental Health Services Conference, to be held in Washington, D.C., Oct. 13 and 14, 2022, is a collaborative forum for psychiatrists and other mental health professionals to learn about practical solutions to improve the delivery of mental health services.  Learn more and register

Nominations Invited for APA Board of Trustees
The APA Nominating Committee is seeking recommendations for potential candidates to serve in APA national offices beginning in May 2023. All members are invited to recommend individuals to lead APA in the future and advance psychiatry together on our Board of Trustees. The Board is stronger when it is composed of a diverse set of individuals who represent all aspects of psychiatry and the patients we serve. Nominate yourself or a colleague by September 1.  Learn more

Are you Willing to Share Your Expertise on an APA Council or Committee?

APA President-Elect, Petros Levounis, M.D., M.A., invites members to serve on an APA Council or Committee for service beginning in May 2023. APA Councils and Committees provide expertise in the development of policy and resources for our membership and the profession. If you have expertise in the content areas of the 13 councils, we strongly encourage you to submit your name and ensure the breadth of diversity within the membership is reflected. Learn more about eligibility and nominate yourself or a colleague by Aug. 15.

Free webinar – Heat Waves and Wildfires for the Practicing Psychiatrist: What You Need to Know to Protect Your Patients and Community – Aug. 3 | 6:30 p.m. ET
In this webinar, part of APA’s Emerging Topics series, you will learn about heat physiology and adaptation, the impact of heat on psychiatric symptoms and medications, and ways to protect your patients in the extreme heat gripping the world this summer. The impacts of wildfires on psychiatric symptoms and community function, and the role that psychiatrists can play in responding to the climate crisis will also be addressed. Learn more and register

NIH Seeking Proposals on Climate Change and Health

The National Institutes of Health is seeking proposals within a new Climate Change and Health Initiative with the goals of reducing the health threats posed by climate change across the lifespan; improving the health of people who are at increased risk from or disparately affected by climate change impacts; and building health resilience among individuals, communities, Tribal Nations, and nations around the world, thereby increasing health equity. NIH is looking for applications that address the impact of climate change on health and well-being over the life course. Learn more

Another Annual Meeting in the Works Already! Submissions Portal Now Open

Join us next year in San Francisco, May 20 to 24, 2023, for a meeting around the theme “Innovate, Collaborate, Motivate: Charting the Future of Mental Health.” Submit your ideas for general sessions, courses, and posters through APA’s online abstract submission systemLearn more    

 

 

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