Federal News & Issues

WASHINGTON, D.C. April 11, 2020  Reports are emerging that the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is disproportionately impacting the African-American community in areas across the United States. In Chicago, for instance, half of those diagnosed with COVID-19 have been black, while African Americans only make up one third of the total population. Seventy percent of the fatalities linked to COVID-19 in Louisiana have been among black people, while this community makes up about a third of the overall population.

The higher rates of infection and fatality are linked to existing health inequities facing black Americans, such as higher rates of diabetes and hypertension (both of which lead to higher mortality rates for COVID-19) and barriers to care. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) is concerned about the...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: Apr 9, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, increasing numbers of Americans are accessing their care through telehealth, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has loosened requirements so that people receiving Medicaid and Medicare can use this vital link to health care. However, many of the most vulnerable patients, especially the serious mentally ill and elderly, are still facing obstacles to this care because they lack the required video technology or live in areas without reliable broadband access.

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) today sent a letter to CMS to request...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: Apr 2, 2020

With more than 800,000 physicians across 45 specialties, the Council of Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS) strongly urges action to ensure safer working conditions for physicians and other healthcare professionals on the frontline of direct patient care.

CMSS and its member societies believe that adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) should be a fundamental expectation for all frontline healthcare professionals:

CMSS and its member societies urge federal, state and local authorities to ensure an adequate supply and distribution of PPE for every frontline healthcare professional in the United States. Physicians and other healthcare professionals can and should expect their institutions to provide appropriate means to limit occupational exposure. Physicians and other healthcare professionals should be allowed to bring...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: Apr 2, 2020

A mental health coalition today urged the federal government to provide personal protection equipment (PPE) to all behavioral health care professionals on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. The letter, signed by The National Council for Behavioral Health, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Mental Health America (MHA) and the American Psychiatric Association (APA) states that the lack of PPE is putting behavioral health care workers at risk.

The level of anxiety among Americans continues to rise due to concerns over risks associated with COVID-19. While some people struggle to cope with the isolation caused by lockdowns and restrictions on...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: Apr 1, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. House of Representatives today passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) a $2 trillion stimulus aid package to provide fiscal relief for Americans and businesses in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill, which passed the Senate Wednesday, includes many provisions supported by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) that will enable health care professionals and communities to better respond to the pandemic, including some that will bolster mental health care.

“You can’t have a healthy economy without healthy people—and that includes mental health,” said APA President Bruce Schwartz, M.D. “This stimulus bill will strengthen our ability to help the millions of Americans with existing mental illnesses or substance use disorders, and more with...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: Mar 27, 2020

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