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As the voice of modern psychiatry, the APA works to advance the profession and promote the highest quality care for individuals with mental health and their families. Through its advocacy efforts, the APA educates the public about mental health, psychiatry and successful treatment options. Advocacy initiatives encompass the legislative/regulatory, political, psychiatric practice and communications arenas. The APA also helps District Branches/State Associations and individual members reach their advocacy goals.
The Department of Government Relations, as part of the greater Division of Advocacy, works to ensure that APA delivers a consistent and focused message to policymakers, the media and the public. Staff within the Department of Government Relations focus on:
Our grassroots network is the mechanism used by APA members to directly communicate with their federal and state representatives and senators. A stronger grassroots network creates a stronger bond between APA members’ concerns and their legislators’ positions on important issues. Furthermore, this section includes votes and bill tracking, search engines for federal/state representatives, and media contacts.
The APA Political Action Committee is funded solely by voluntary contributions from APA members. APAPAC, by working through the political process and supporting candidates who are committed to assisting those suffering from mental health and addictive disorders, will advance the interests of psychiatry in public forums and represent those interests before legislative and other government bodies.
The APA has established a webpage to guide its District Branches and their members as they work with their states to develop state health exchanges ensuring the exchanges include benchmark plans that are based on the state’s current mental health coverage and are in compliance with the parity requirements of MHPAEA.
The Office of Healthcare Systems & Financing coordinates the activities relating to the AMA CPT Editorial Panel, where CPT codes are developed, and to the AMA RUC (RVS Specialty Society Update Committee), which makes recommendations to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on the values for the procedures defined by CPT codes.