Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services awards Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative grant to APA

Funds will go toward training psychologists to work in integrated health care practices.

The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced Sept. 29 that the American Psychological Association Center for Psychology and Health will receive federal funding to provide psychologists with the clinical and leadership skills needed to support health care practices that are implementing integrated behavioral health programs.

The funding is in the form of a grant under the CMS Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative (TCPI). The initiative is one part of a strategy supported by the Affordable Care Act to strengthen the quality of patient care and spend health care dollars more wisely.

TCPI uses two components to transform health practice:

  • Support and Alignment Networks (SANs): National and regional professional medical and healthcare associations and public-private partnerships. SANs provide a system for education, workforce development and practice transformation.
  • Practice Transformation Networks: Local-peer-based learning networks and provider groups, including hospitals, which support clinicians as they work to transform clinical practice. 

APA will serve as a SAN, leading an education and workforce development project to train psychologists to work in integrated health care settings where patients receive access to both medical and behavioral health services. The project will take place over the next three years.

Interested APA members who register will receive free online training. Once training is completed, APA will help connect you with a practice transformation network in your region for on-the-ground transformation support. Moreover, participating in this collaborative peer-based learning initiative ensures clinicians who participate will be a part of leading and creating positive change for the entire health system. 

To properly prepare for new practice models, it will also be necessary to understand how psychologists will be paid within the changing system. APA will contract with the Practice Organization to inform psychologists about physician payment models associated with integrated health programs. 

The submission of the proposal for this funding opportunity was truly a team effort across the organization. Many thanks go out to all involved, especially:

Doug Tynan, PhD, ABPP; Toni Vincent, MPH; Elena Eisman, EdD, ABPP; Lillian White; Cathi Grus, PhD; Diane Pedulla, JD; Karen Stamm, PhD; Rob Fredley, MBA; Doug Walter, JD; Shirley Higuchi, JD; Randy Phelps, PhD; Bill Tanner and others across the organization who provided guidance, support and expertise throughout the process.