Pressure needed on Medicare restoration during August Congressional recess
by Government Relations Staff
July 28, 2010 — Thanks to grassroots mobilization of practicing psychologists across the country, the American Psychological Association Practice Organization (APAPO) was able to secure a legislative remedy to cuts to psychologist reimbursements in Medicare in 2008 and again this year. This August, we need your help to make it happen again.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) implemented across-the-board cuts to provider reimbursements as a result of the five-year review regulatory process, which had a disproportionately negative impact on psychological services due to the way Medicare allocates value for services. But the APAPO was able to persuade Congress to restore 5 percent to Medicare psychotherapy services in 2008 and to convince both chambers to extend the provision again through the end of 2010.
Thanks to psychologists’ grassroots efforts, combined with strategic lobbying on Capitol Hill, psychotherapy services were the only services singled out for relief from the cut.
With the House scheduled to adjourn on July 30 and the Senate on August 6, legislators need to hear from practicing psychologists during the August recess that Congress should extend the 5 percent Medicare psychotherapy payment restoration through 2011 to ensure Medicare beneficiaries continued access to quality mental health services.
By August 13, urge your Senators and Representative to extend the 5 percent Medicare psychotherapy payment restoration by taking action through the Legislative Action Center.