Improved advocacy communications launch May 1
By Government Relations staff
April 26, 2012—“If there was ever a time we needed enhanced advocacy capacity, it is now,” APA Executive Director for Professional Practice Katherine C. Nordal, PhD, told attendees of the 29th annual State Leadership Conference.
Beginning this spring, the APA Practice Organization (APAPO) is implementing an enhanced software program to more efficiently communicate with and mobilize grassroots psychologists in legislative advocacy. APAPO is calling for members to take advantage of the tool.
Practicing psychologists have traditionally sent messages to Congress on issues critical to their patients and the profession by visiting the Legislative Action Center on Practice Central, the APA Practice Organization website. In 2011 alone, grassroots psychologists utilizing the Legislative Action Center sent more than 35,000 messages urging members of Congress to reject steep Medicare cuts.
The Legislative Action Center is powered by Capwiz, a software program that enables psychologists to communicate with their legislators. APAPO’s state and territorial Federal Advocacy Coordinators (FAC), tasked with mobilizing grassroots support for APAPO’s legislative priorities, will now utilize an enhanced Capwiz system to communicate directly with their members. The system will enable FACs to reach all of APAPO’s membership quickly and efficiently.
Beginning on May 1, APAPO members will receive all communications from their state or territorial FAC, including Information Alerts and Action Alerts, which typically call on members to use the Legislative Action Center, through the Capwiz delivery system. Individually crafted by each FAC but branded as an effort of APAPO, the emails will look a little different from those that members have historically received from their FACs. At the same time, Division FACs will continue to deliver advocacy communications in the current format.
Members can expect to receive future alerts asking help advocating for our top legislative priorities of 2012:
Congress should replace the flawed Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula and alter the existing favoritism of expensive technology-based specialty services over lower-cost mental health and primary care.
Congress should include psychologists in Medicare’s “physician” definition.
Congress should make psychologists eligible for incentive payments through the HITECH Act.
“With a mounting budget deficit, uncertain Medicare payments and major reforms to the health care delivery system in progress, grassroots action by psychologists has never been more important,” said Illinois FAC Patricia Farrell, PhD. She urges members to follow the links in FACs’ emails that will direct them to the Legislative Action Center, where they can take action on important federal issues. “If we’re going to have a fighting chance for our priorities, we have to make our voices heard,” Farrell said.
For more information, contact Government Relations by email or by phone at (202) 336-5889.