Federal News & Issues

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Psychiatric Association (APA) applauds bipartisan congressional passage of legislation extending the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), protecting children's health coverage and providing access to needed health and mental health services for nearly nine million children and adolescents from low-income families.

As part of a short-term government funding bill, Congress has passed a measure extending funding for CHIP for six years, through Fiscal Year 2023. The bill also extends funding for the Childhood Obesity Demonstration Project and the Pediatric Quality Measures Program and extends specified outreach and enrollment grants.

"Early access to quality evidence-based mental health services and treatment is critical for children and adolescents facing mental health...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: Jan 30, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Recent news accounts state that the Big Horn County (Mont.) Attorney has announced a "crackdown" policy on pregnant women who use drugs or alcohol. Under the reported policy, the attorney intends to issue restraining orders against pregnant women who are found to be using alcohol or drugs with the threat of jail time if they don't comply. This stated action runs counter to the policy of the American Psychiatric Association (APA), which today issued the following statement from APA CEO and Medical Director Saul Levin, M.D., M.P.A.:

"Pregnant women who are abusing drugs or alcohol need treatment, not incarceration or punishment," Levin said. "The APA strongly believes that treating the expectant mother is best for the health of the mother and her expectant child. Putting a woman in jail who has a...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: Jan 30, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. — This past weekend's erroneous message of an incoming attack on the Hawaiian Islands via a ballistic missile has the potential outcome of psychological trauma for the Hawaiian population and visitors. Recipients had to wait an agonizing 38 minutes before receiving another note that the threat did not exist. The members of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) acknowledge the potential mental health consequences caused by this event and offer our assistance in coping with this trauma.

"We have long known that natural disasters and traumatic events have a strong impact on mental health," said APA President Anita Everett, M.D. "Residents and visitors to Hawaii should know that symptoms can develop immediately after the event or they may appear after some time, including PTSD. If symptoms arise...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: Jan 16, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On behalf of the more than 560,000 physicians and medical students represented by the combined memberships of our organizations, we strongly urge the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to put patients first, and reconsider its willingness to approve state waiver requests that would impose work requirements as a condition of Medicaid eligibility. Our members are the frontline physicians who care for patients in rural, urban, wealthy and low-income communities, and are the foundation of the American health care system. These measures would be punitive and detrimental to patient care.

Our organizations issued joint principles on this issue, which we shared with Acting...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: Jan 16, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) reiterates its continued and unwavering commitment to the ethical principle known as "The Goldwater Rule." We at the APA call for an end to psychiatrists providing professional opinions in the media about public figures whom they have not examined, whether it be on cable news appearances, books, or in social media. Armchair psychiatry or the use of psychiatry as a political tool is the misuse of psychiatry and is unacceptable and unethical.

The ethical principle, in place since 1973, guides physician members of the APA to refrain from publicly issuing professional medical opinions about individuals that they have not personally evaluated in a professional setting or context. Doing otherwise undermines the credibility and integrity of the...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: Jan 9, 2018

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