The last six months have seen forward movement in the area of advocacy for group. Our society has gained the attention of some of the main players in APA advocacy, most notably the APA Center for Psychology and Health. Earlier this year the Society presidents spoke over the phone with Elena Eisman, director of the APA Center for Psychology and Health. This led to a very productive follow-up meeting at APA with Eisman and Stephen Gillaspy, the chair of Health Care Finance. Gillaspy directly interfaces with CMS, the main Medicare committee that determines reimbursement for group psychotherapy services. This meeting energized efforts in our Society to collect data related to access, cost effectiveness and cost-offset of group psychotherapy. We will be looking to partner with health systems in the future to collaboratively assess these important constructs.
Our society also recently participated with APA in making comment on the CMS-proposed seven percent cut to psychotherapy reimbursement (the 2020 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule). We joined with thousands other psychologists in defending access to services for the needy Medicare population. Our energy behind this action garnered the attention of the APA Practice Directorate, which has invited two Society members, Martyn Whittingham and Gary Burlingame, to participate in an access-oriented advisory committee.
The Society remains committed to federal advocacy on behalf of group and will continue with strong advocacy efforts into 2020.