2011 APA Presidential Candidate Ronald H. Rozensky, PhD

Fair compensation is a major concern for psychologists working in a variety of work settings. What programs or activities would you pursue to address this concern?

by Ronald H. Rozensky, PhD

Fair compensation is a major concern for psychologists working in a variety of work settings. What programs or activities would you pursue to address this concern?

Our compensation is directly related to the value assigned to our professional services by:

  • society and its consumers, governmental policy and healthcare industry decision makers, and business and academic administrators;

  • our ability to educate the public about, and advocate for, the economic value of our services, and,

  • the "supply and demand balance" of providers in the healthcare workforce.

Given those variables, Psychology and the APAPO must expand our programs to further educate the public and policy makers about the clinical utility of our services. This includes reaching out to Congress, expanding funding for professional lobbying, and training additional psychologists for grassroots lobbying efforts. We then can better assure that decision makers understand that:

  • Effect-sizes for psychological treatment outcomes equal, or exceed those in Medicine;

  • Newest scientific findings inform practice in applied and health services psychology;

  • Investing in translational research and patient care services yields high returns including individual quality of life, advancement of society, and the overall health of the population including disease prevention, health promotion and healthcare.

To manage the issues of "provider supply and demand" we must expand our research capabilities to understand the employment pipeline and work force issues including practice economics and issues of reimbursement with the same due diligence as done by Medicine, Nursing and other health professions.

This will assure that we have a clear picture of society's need for our services, where there are employment opportunities, and have the data needed to advocate for proper compensation for all psychologists.

What do you envision to be the best models for delivery of psychological services in a reformed health care system?

I have first hand experience in reviewing and making actual recommendations regarding the upcoming changes to our healthcare system. I was appointed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services to, and am Chair-Elect of, the Advisory Committee on Interdisciplinary Community-Based Linkages (Services) within HRSA's Bureau of Health Professions. I have spent the last six months directly involved in writing healthcare reform recommendations assuring the future of practice.

In concert with the Bureau's other advisory groups (Medicine, Nursing, Dentistry), we have just completed a letter to the Secretary of HHS and Congress detailing priorities for funding education, training, and clinical services within healthcare reform. Psychological services must be defined as part of that system.

We highlighted the role of all health professions, including psychology, as key to a quality, integrated healthcare system. As one of eight co-signers, I have portrayed psychologists as strong members of the healthcare team and psychology as an independent profession providing patient care to the fullest extent of our license.

My evolving leadership role in the Bureau further reinforces psychology's voice in the future of healthcare and positions me to speak for psychology as the actual details of health reform are worked out.

The best model for delivery of psychological services will be an integrated system where patients have open access to psychological services. That system must acknowledge the impact of biopsychosocial variables on health outcomes. Quality care must be based on all disciplines, including psychology, working to the fullest extent of their scope of practice.

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