From the Field

Call for members to complete Medicare psychotherapy codes surveys

For the first time in 10 years, Medicare is going to review the value of the work that psychologists and other professionals do in providing psychotherapy services

By Legal and Regulatory Affairs Staff

May 31, 2010 — For the first time in 10 years, Medicare is going to review the value of the work that psychologists and other professionals do in providing psychotherapy services. The APA Practice Organization (APAPO) is part of a multi-profession group working on this critical project.

Several thousand APAPO members soon will receive surveys to evaluate specific psychotherapy services. Your participation is critically important to ensure that psychology’s work is valued appropriately in Medicare.

The surveys will be in the field from late May through mid-June. Members may receive more than one survey.

The APAPO members receiving this survey were selected randomly. If you are asked to participate, please take the time to fill out the surveys you receive carefully and completely. 

“I want to thank in advance those members who receive the survey for helping to ensure that the work you do in providing psychotherapy services is properly valued in Medicare,” said APA Executive Director for Professional Practice Katherine C. Nordal, PhD. “It is important to you and your colleagues, as well as to the diverse patient populations you serve.”

The survey relates to a process known as the “five-year review” in which the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) looks at certain codes and determines whether they are overvalued or undervalued.  Late in 2009, the American Psychological Association formally requested that CMS review the psychotherapy codes during its 2010 five-year review of codes in the Medicare fee schedule.