Committee Reports

Federal Advocacy Coordinator Report

Highlights include medicare reimbursement, HITECH Act incentives, presentations by House Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR)

By Gloria Behar Gottsegen, PhD

The State Leadership Conference was held in Washington DC on March 12-15, 2011, and I attended in my role as the Division 49 Federal Advocacy Coordinator.

The overarching theme of this year's conference was "Building a Leadership Culture."

Among the important topics discussed were:

  • Medicare reimbursement for psychologists and the need for congress to extend the restoration of the 5% cut of outpatient mental health reimbursement through 2012.
  • Including psychologists in the Medicare "Physician" definition and supporting the Snowe, Schakowsky bill to do so.
  • Making psychologists eligible for the HITECH Act incentives which would give financial incentives to adopt electronic health records.

Conference attendees were treated to sessions that included major presentations by:

  • NPR's Mara Liaison on political giving
  • Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) on health care issues
  • House Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on health care reform and mental health parity

We then made personal visits to House and Senate offices and to congressional leaders for their support for psychology's major issues.

This meeting marked my 10th year of service as a Division Federal Advocacy Coordinator for the APA Professional Organization, and I was honored with the gift of a 10-year service pin.