We need your support for Medicare mental health access

Our priority legislation to add psychologists to Medicare’s physician definition is gaining momentum, and we need your help.

The Medicare Mental Health Access Act (H.R. 4277/S. 2597) — professional psychology’s priority legislation to include psychologists in the Medicare physician definition — is gaining momentum, but we need your support. 

This bipartisan legislation was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., and Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., and in the U.S. Senate by Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine. If passed and enacted into law, this legislation would amend the Medicare definition of physician to include psychologists and allow psychologists to provide Medicare services to patients without unnecessary physician supervision in all treatment centers.

Last month more than 400 psychologists went to Capitol Hill during the APA Practice Organization State Leadership Conference to urge their members of Congress to cosponsor the Medicare Mental Health Access Act (H.R. 4277/S. 2597). Now it’s your turn.  

Use the APA Practice Organization’s Legislative Action Center to urge your members of Congress to co-sponsor the Medicare Mental Health Access Act.

You can also use Twitter to connect with your members of Congress. The Practice Organization has compiled a list of Congressional Twitter handles by state.

Sample tweets to U.S. Representatives:

  • Thank you @RepKristiNoem & @JanSchakowsky for sponsoring #HR4277 to increase #MentalHealthAccess for #Medicare patients.
  • .@ [insert representative’s twitter handle] please cosponsor #HR4277 to increase #MentalHealthAccess for #Medicare patients.

Sample tweets to U.S. Senators:

  • Thank you @SenSherrodBrown & @SenatorCollins for sponsoring #S2597 to increase #MentalHealthAccess for #Medicare patients.
  • .@ [insert senator’s twitter handle] please cosponsor #S2597 to increase #MentalHealthAccess for #Medicare patients.

If your representative or senator is already a co-sponsor, please tweet a thank you to them to show your appreciation for their support: Current co-sponsors of H.R. 4277 and current co-sponsors of S. 2597

Share Your Story

Personal examples of issues caused by the physician oversight requirement will help us demonstrate to members of Congress the need to support the Medicare Mental Health Access Act. Share your story with us

Background Information

The Medicare Mental Health Access Act (H.R. 4277/S. 2597) would remove a roadblock to mental health treatment for Medicare beneficiaries in certain treatment facilities. Although psychologists are licensed to practice independently in all U.S. states and jurisdictions, Medicare still requires unnecessary physician sign-off and oversight of their services in some settings, hampering or even preventing delivery of needed care. The legislation would remove this barrier by adding clinical psychologists to the list of providers in Medicare’s definition of “physician,” which already includes podiatrists, chiropractors, optometrists and dentists. Psychologists are the only doctoral-level provider not included in the physician definition.

For more information, contact the Practice Organization Government Relations Office via email or phone at (202) 336-5889 and visit us online.