National advocacy efforts for healthcare reform address federal statutes, place psychologists on national workgroups, and coordinate activity within the states. National Psychology and Neuropsychology organizations have been active in alerting neuropsychologists to the coming practice climate changes, and providing education and resources.
The American Psychological Association Practice Organization has taken a leadership role with federal advocacy in healthcare reform and provides resources to states in their healthcare reform efforts.
- APAPO has created the State Implementation of Health Care Reform initiative, an advisory group of state leaders representing diverse constituencies that generates resources and expertise state psychological associations can apply locally.
- APAPO also targets federal healthcare legislation to that effects psychologists' practice, including an initiative lobbying congress for inclusion of psychologists in Medicare's physician definition. The APA legal team is a powerful resource available to the states in crafting legislation, and acting on regulatory and insurance issues.
Katherine Nordal, Ph.D., Executive director of APA's Practice Directorate practiced for decades as a neuropsychologist before taking on leadership of APAPO. She has reached out to national neuropsychology organizations, including meeting with the board of directors of the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology at their June 2012 Annual conference with the goal of learning more about how APAPO can respond to Neuropsychology's needs, particularly in the context of healthcare reform. Supporting APAPO through paying the practice assessment directly benefits Neuropsychology's practice climate.
AACN, the membership organization of the American Board of Clinical Neuropsychology, has been a leader in alerting its members and the larger community of neuropsychologists about practice changes associated with healthcare reform.
The AACN board of directors has charged its Practice and Public Policy committee with identifying and tracking legislative, regulatory, and other practice issues associated with healthcare reform. AACN recognizes that educating neuropsychologists about changes in the healthcare playing field is the most important first step in encouraging innovations that will ensure that Neuropsychology once again emerges as a successful healthcare player. The AACN foundation, which funds outcomes research in neuropsychology, has announced that it will fund outcome studies of innovative practices in the context of healthcare reform.
The National Academy of Neuropsychology (NAN) has been active in supporting neuropsychologists in the practice of neuropsychology for many years. The NAN Board of Directors relies primarily on two standing committees to advocate for the profession of neuropsychology and, most importantly, for the consequent welfare of patients. Implementation of healthcare reform may result in significant changes to the practice of neuropsychology, and consequently receives special attention from these committees.
The Professional Affairs and Information Committee (PAIC). The PAIC’s recent work in addressing healthcare reform has largely been in the form of investigating the potential and/or real effects of healthcare reform on the practice of neuropsychology/care of patients, and educating NAN members accordingly. The PAIC provides relevant and up to date information about health care reform and practice issues through the PAIC section of the NAN website and through presentations and workshops at the annual NAN conference. Examples of recent communications to NAN members include the following:
Via the NAN website, PQRS: An introduction to reporting the dementia measures group:
Sessions at the 2012 NAN Conference:
- “Healthcare Reform and Implications for Neuropsychology” Special Topics presentation by Karen Postal Ph.D., Donna Rasin-Waters, Ph.D., and Antonio Puente, Ph.D. (Co-hosted by the PAIC and LAAC)
- “Strength in Numbers: Models of Practice Integration,” an introduction to PHO-type organizations that will become ACOs presented by Tim Wynkoop, Ph.D., as part of the PAIC Advanced Reimbursement session.
The Legislative Action and Advocacy Committee (LAAC). The LAAC has been involved in addressing healthcare reform since the initial bill was introduced. Examples of recent activities include:
- Action alerts and newsflash items requesting that NAN members to contact their legislators about healthcare reform and healthcare related issues (e.g., proposed sustainable growth rate cuts)
- The Health Outcomes and Neuropsychology Efficacy Initiative (HONE IN): collecting and summarizing research identifying the positive impact of neuropsychology on assessment, intervention, and short and long term outcomes.
- Further education from NAN on the impact of healthcare reform on neuropsychology practice is planned for the 2013 NAN convention in San Diego (October 16-19). Through the PAIC and LAAC, NAN will continue to send periodic and timely emails alerting members to advocacy needs and practice information. For the most recent updates on NAN’s work regarding healthcare reform, please visit the website at www.nanonline.org.