APA Communities enables collaboration on state health care reform implementation

New resource is part of state implementation of health care reform initiative

By State Advocacy staff

Oct. 25, 2012—Implementation of health care reform is taking place at the state level, and professional psychology needs to be at the table and well-equipped for the discussion. To help our members get informed and get involved, the APA Practice Directorate launched an initiative in fall 2011 focused on state implementation of health care reform. As part of this initiative, an APA Practice Health Care Team comprised of key Practice Directorate staff and an external advisory group representing various state constituencies began using APA’s online professional collaboration tool APA Communities to connect state leaders with resources on health care reform. 

APA Communities, an APA-moderated, closed social network, was introduced in April 2012 to all APA members and division members as an online space to share information and discuss particular interest areas and/or subfields of the discipline. This new technology provides an effective avenue for association members to network and communicate in real time on a variety of topics.

Because APA Communities is accessible to all members and is a platform that can be divided into “groups” by specific interest areas, the APA Practice Initiative on State Implementation of Health Care Reform created a group on APA Communities to serve state leaders as a central hub for information containing resources geared toward psychology in health care reform.

The State Health Care Reform Group helps state associations address longstanding issues such as health care access and service delivery systems, among other issues. The State Health Care Reform Group on APA Communities:

  • Contains reports, issue briefs, journal articles and other publications that address mental health and health care reform. Group members can download and share a variety of publications and resources from the document library to quickly disseminate information to their state constituencies; 

  • Serves as a discussion forum for group members to initiate and participate in conversations on topics related to state implementation of health care reform with real-time alerts about replies and 

  • Notifies users of updates such as new resources or discussion alerts made to the group, in real time.

Information and resources are categorized by priority areas from the Affordable Care Act legislation, determined by the Practice Health Care Team and the State Implementation Advisory Group as areas most integral to psychology in health reform:

  • Accountable Care Organizations 

  • Health care financing 

  • Health care medical homes 

  • Health IT 

  • Insurance exchanges 

  • Integrated care 

  • Medicaid redesign 

  • Primary care

These priority areas make it easy for users to sort through and find information on specific health care reform issues. Group members can also search by state or other key terms to access all related content across the State Health Care Reform Group.

The State Health Care Reform Group on APA Communities is now live and accepting new members. APA members can use their MyAPA ID to join APA Communities and then email Tammy A. Barnes, APA State Advocacy Officer, to request membership to the State Health Care Reform Group or to learn more about the ongoing work of the APA Practice initiative on State Implementation of Health Care Reform.