I attended a two day CAPP board meeting in early September as a liaison from our Society. The CAPP board members and fellow liaisons are a group of talented individuals who are invested in coming together as a group to advance the needs of practicing psychologists. The focus of the board, and by extension, the American Psychological Association Practice Organization (APAPO) can be seen by examining the “four Ps”: payment, prestige, practice protection, and products. Highlights from the September meeting, as organized by these four areas, can be found below:
- APAPO has been working to help develop a new CPT code which would provide better reimbursement for psychologists who use certain testing practices and assessments.
- APAPO is going to start working on developing a Qualified Clinical Data Registry (QCDR) which will help psychologists control their own outcome measurements (to aid in reporting relevant outcomes to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services). This QCDR would be a system that psychologists could use for the upcoming requirement of Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), which will replace PQRS (as it expires on December 31st). I hope as they move forward with selecting outcome measures, that group based outcomes will be represented.
- Legal and Regulatory Affairs (LRA) staff reported success in their fight with the New York Attorney General’s office regarding Cigna’s exclusion of neuropsychological assessment for all psychiatric disorders and autism spectrum disorders.
- LRA is also continuing their work on advocating for intern reimbursement under Medicaid and report continued progress in several states.
- The Government Relations staff of APAPO continues to advocate for psychologists inclusion in the Medicare “physician” definition (H.R. 4277/S. 2597).
- CAPP formed a workgroup to discuss and determine if there are aspects or implications of the APA resolution on psychologists in integrated care settings. This workgroup would also focus on what CPT codes might be appropriate for telehealth within integrated care. This also ties into payment concerns for psychologists engaged in these activities.
- Recently LRA also provided input to the Texas State Board regarding the Serafine decision by the 5th Circuit US Court of Appeals decision invalidating parts of the licensing law.
- APAPO and LRA consistently tackle issues relating to mental health parity. They recently met with Federal Parity Enforcement officials to review key issues and concerns. They are actively involved in cases regarding parity issues with several insurance companies, including Regence BCBS and Independence Blue Cross in Philadelphia.
- As was described above, a product in development is the QCDR. However, another product that was strongly supported at the CAPP meeting was for APAPO to update the HIPAA product. This is especially salient in light of upcoming Phase 3 HIPAA audits from HHS.
I am honored to represent Division 49 as a liaison to the Committee for the Advancement of Professional Practice. Due to budget constraints, CAPP will only meet once in person next year, currently scheduled for October 2017. However, if there are significant updates that are provided to liaisons via electronic meetings, those will be included in future issues of TGP.