The Society of Group Psychology and Group Psychotherapy have sent a liaison (Dr. Leann Diederich) to the recent two CAPP board meetings in Washington, DC. Below is a summary of highlights that might be relevant to Society members, followed by formal meeting highlights submitted by CAPP from the May 2015 meeting.
Meeting Highlights by Dr. Diederich
- Dr. Katherine Nordal recently spoke at the Society of Psychologists in Management Conference. The next meeting is February 24-28, 2016 in Atlanta, GA. If any group psychologists with expertise in group dynamics and management want to present, this might be a good audience to lend our expertise to. (For more information: http://www.spim.org/conference.shtml).
- The staff from the Government Relations office of APAPO spoke about their work on behalf of practicing psychologists. This includes advocacy leading to the repeal of the sustainable growth rate (SGR) as well as their continued work to include psychologists listed as physicians in the Medicare definition. Given the anticipated 1.5% decrease in Medicare payments over the next 5 years, they still have a lot of work to do. They continue to work with Representative Tim Murphy (a psychologist) on his Seriously Mentally Ill bill, along with getting his support on changes APAPO advocates for.
- Legal and Regulatory Affairs (LRA) continues to do some impressive work on behalf of psychologists. For instance, they challenged the Missouri Medicaid Agency which was trying to impose additional and unprecedented training requirements on psychologists who provide services falling under the Health Behavior and Assessment Intervention Codes (also known as H&B codes), including those for group (code 96153). They also worked with Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) and other BCBS companies on risk adjustments audits, which they expect to increase when they are required in November 2015 (due to the Affordable Care Act).
- LRA also asked that if any psychologist learns that clients can’t find a therapist in-network in their area, please let LRA know. They highlighted how provider reimbursement rates drive patient access to care. So if they can point to instances where providers are not available (potentially because of low reimbursement rates) then this helps their advocacy cause.
- The State Leadership Conference Workgroup proposed a number of changes. A change that was considered, but was ultimately rejected, was for Presidents from Divisions that have Federal Advocacy Coordinators to not be invited. Fortunately, this was rejected and we will continue to be invited due to the benefits outweighing the costs.
- There was continued discussion around the Council’s “Psychologists in Integrated Primary Care and Specialty Health Settings” item. If you are a group psychologist working in integrated primary care settings, please let us know! We’d love to have you offer some tips to other Society members about how to get involved in this growing field. Please email us at Div49group@gmail.com if you’d be willing to write an article in a future TGP or provide us with tips we can post on our Facebook page.
- Two other large topics continue to be addressed by the CAPP Board; these include working on the Master’s Degree in Psychology and addressing the scope of practice of psychologists. On the latter of these, a Specialties Summit is being convened between the Council of Specialties, the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP), and the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB). For more details on these topics please read more in the summary provided by CAPP, below.