Help to preserve psychotherapy payment extender

Contact your members of Congress to help ensure that the psychotherapy payment extender is included in the Medicare bill expected later this fall

by Government Relations Staff

October 27, 2010 — Your Congressional representatives need to hear from you during the fall recess to ensure the psychotherapy payment extender is included in the Medicare bill.  

When members of the House and Senate return to Washington November 15, they will have just two short weeks to complete action on the Medicare bill to prevent the 23 percent Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) cut from taking effect on December 1. As this may be the last chance in this Congress to ensure the extension of expiring Medicare provisions, it is critical that the bill includes the 5 percent psychotherapy payment extender.

Propelled by grassroots mobilization of practicing psychologists across the country, the American Psychological Association Practice Organization (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.
Legislative action this year is needed to enact the restoration for 2011.  

Contact your legislator

Before the November 3 elections, Congressional representatives are making frequent stops throughout the district on the campaign trail, providing an excellent opportunity for psychologists to engage their legislators on psychology’s priorities. Or you may choose to call your representative at his or her district office. Regardless of where you deliver it, APAPO suggests the following message: 

Congressman/woman ______, my name is Dr. _______, I am a psychologist living in the district and I understand that Congress plans to take up a Medicare bill to deal with the SGR during the post-election session. Can psychologists and our patients count on your support to ensure that the bill includes the Medicare mental health payment extender? It is critically important to ensure seniors have continued access to quality mental health care. 

E-mail Jeff Cook, Director, Field & State Operations, APAPO Government Relations, with any information you receive. Please include dates, the nature of interactions, and any comments or questions from legislators or their staffers.

The APAPO will keep members updated about emerging developments with postings on the Practice Central website and in the PracticeUpdate e-newsletter.