After Congress reached a short term agreement at the end of 2011 preventing scheduled reductions in Medicare payments through February 29, key legislators serving on a conference committee to negotiate a longer term measure have begun to return to Washington. Much remains at stake for practicing psychologists, as changes in Medicare reimbursement rates will not only affect Medicare beneficiaries but also individuals with TRICARE or private insurance from third party payers that follow Medicare’s lead. Without further action by Congress, psychologists would face payment cuts of 27.4% for all services resulting from application of the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula and an additional loss of 5% for psychotherapy services due to expiration of the mental health restoration the APA Practice Organization has secured 4 times since 2008.
Your legislators need to hear from you as they weigh the future of Medicare once again. They must be reminded of psychology’s critical priorities to avoid mental health being left behind.
Click here to urge your US Senators and US Representative to halt Medicare cuts to psychological services.