Federal News & Issues

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Psychiatric Association (APA) today joined six other physician and health professional organizations in calling for action to address the public health epidemic of firearm-related injury and death. In 2017, nearly 40,000 people died as a result of a firearm, a 20-year high, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Our nation is in the midst of an epidemic of firearm-related injuries and deaths, and we must treat this as a public health crisis,” said APA President Bruce Schwartz, M.D. “We see the long-lasting mental health impact firearm-related violence and injury has on our patients every day, and it is time for us to come together as a nation to address this epidemic.”

The groups call for several evidence-based steps, including:

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Author: mbourdase - Published: Aug 7, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A Veterans Health Administration (VHA) program that provides tablets to veterans with mental disorders leads to improved access and continuity of care. A new study published online in Psychiatric Services in Advance finds that video-enabled tablets can improve mental health care access for patients who experience barriers because of geographic, social, or health-related circumstances.

About a third of the about 9 million veterans enrolled in VHA live in rural or island areas, and many have transportation or financial challenges to getting care. In addition, veterans with mental disorders may avoid care because of stigma or privacy concerns.

The VHA began distributing video-enabled tablets to veterans with mental...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: Aug 6, 2019

Washington, DC  The American Psychiatric Association (APA) today condemns the senseless loss of lives from gun violence that has become all too common in this country, most recently in mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. Gun violence is a public health crisis, and we must reduce the injuries and deaths that come from it, while promoting safe communities through funding of research on firearm violence and reform based on research.

Mental health programs are severely underfunded in this country and access to needed care is challenging for individuals and families. It is important to note that the overwhelming majority of people with mental illness are not violent and far more likely to be victims of violent crime than perpetrators of violence. Rhetoric that argues otherwise will further...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: Aug 5, 2019

Washington, DC — The Association for Community Affiliated Plans (ACAP), National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Mental Health America, American Psychiatric Association (APA), AIDS United, National Partnership for Women & Families, and Little Lobbyists today filed an appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit challenging the recent decision on short-term limited-duration junk insurance (STLDI) plans. On July 19, Judge Richard Leon of the D.C. District Court upheld a 2018 Trump administration regulation allowing the dramatic expansion of the sale of STLDI plans as a direct competitor to comprehensive, Affordable Care Act-compliant health insurance in his ruling in Association for Community Affiliated Plans et al v. U.S. Department of Treasury et al.

This decision allows for the expansion of...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: Jul 29, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Psychiatric Association (APA) last fall joined six other health organizations in filing a lawsuit against the Administration’s decision to allow for the expanded sale of short-term, limited duration plans (STLDI) in exchange for comprehensive health plans mandated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Today, a federal district court judge upheld the government’s regulations regarding STLDI plans. In response, the APA issued the following statements:

“We are deeply disappointed that the court ruled in favor of the Administration’s rule, which will allow these plans to deny coverage for pre-existing conditions, and have other detrimental impacts for our patients,” said APA President Bruce Schwartz, M.D. “This ruling could be catastrophic for many Americans with mental illness or substance...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: Jul 19, 2019

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