PRACTICE AND RESEARCH UPDATES

The Committee for the Advancement of Professional Practice meeting highlights

The author summarizes the most recent CAPP meeting, including updates from the APA Practice Organization and their role as advocate for practicing psychologists

By Amanda Clinton

As stated on the webpage of the American Psychological Association (APA), the Committee for the Advancement of Professional Practice (CAPP) “exercises general governance supervision over the relevant affairs of the Practice Directorate”. That is, CAPP seeks to serve others through the application of psychology in practice and encourages projects that help improve human welfare through the professional practice of psychology.

The most recent CAPP meeting took place February 4-5, 2012 in Washington, D.C. Several issues that are of significant importance to school psychologists working in private practice, clinical, or community settings were addressed and are highlighted below:

1) Budget issues came to the forefront of the discussion. Although financially sound, revenues are declining. As such, it is important to understand the critical role that the APA Practice Organization (PO) plays in the practice of psychology.

  • The APAPO:

    • actively works to advocate for psychologists on issues of parity, 

    • provides materials/programs for clinicians that are accessible on the APA website, 

    • assists with business aspects of practice, and 

    • awards local grants to psychological associations

2) Federal level issues important to the practice of psychology are addressed by the APAPO. One key issue being addressed is the lack of parity in specific insurance plans.

  • The APAPO is actively following cases related to parity issues and following up the Department of Health and Human Services regarding complaints about an apparent lack of parity.

    • Example: In Florida, Blue Cross Blue Shield “closed down” their mental health and then a “new” company that turned out to be a ‘shadow company’ of BCBS began to offer mental health insurance at significantly lower reimbursement as compared to prior rates. No cuts to medical-surgical reimbursements occurred, however.

3) The APAPO role as advocate for the practicing psychologist should be better understood by members in order to encourage participation and contributions in regards to these efforts.

  • APAPO actively advocates on key topics related to insurance reimbursement. Medicare is one of these and, even if a psychologist does not see Medicare clients, most insurance companies adjust their rates according to Medicare. If Medicare reimbursement falls, so do other rates.

  • Many internships/post-docs are tied to funds that are coordinated with Medicare rates and government dollars. Currently, internships are being cut as reimbursements fall at hospitals and clinics.