Federal News & Issues

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Psychiatric Association (APA) today announced it had finalized the purchase of its Washington, D.C. headquarters. The APA purchased the top three floors it occupies at 800 Maine Ave., SW, which is part of the Wharf development along the Potomac River waterfront. The APA moved into its headquarters in early 2018 on a lease with the option to buy.

“The purchase of the headquarters is a wise investment for the APA and its members,” said APA President Bruce Schwartz, M.D. “This purchase increases our visibility to the general public and solidifies our position in the nation’s capital where we can best influence and advocate for the laws and policies that impact our profession and our patients.”

APA CEO and Medical Director Saul Levin, M.D., M.P.A., said: “Our return in 2018 to Washington, D....

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Author: mbourdase - Published: Mar 12, 2020

Washington, D.C. — The American Psychiatric Association (APA) applauds Congress for passing an $8 billion emergency funding package to address the spread of COVID-19. Among other provisions, the bill allows for the secretary of Health and Human Services to temporarily lift restrictions on Medicare access to telehealth services, such as live videoconference consultations with doctors. This will potentially allow patients with mental health and substance use disorders who may be worried about contracting the virus to continue to receive treatment during this public health emergency.

“Telehealth and telepsychiatry in ordinary times can help more people access services that are critical to their well-being,” said APA President Bruce Schwartz, M.D. “But it is especially important now, given the nature of COVID-19. Particularly for...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: Mar 5, 2020

Washington, D.C. — Recent news reports have brought to light that the therapy records of children detained by immigration officials have been used against them by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in deportation cases. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) condemns the unethical usage of children’s confidential therapy records in a courtroom setting and calls on the government to immediately end this harmful practice.

“Confidentiality between a clinician and a patient is a sacred trust and is essential to successful mental health treatment, said APA President Bruce Schwartz, M.D. “Violating an agreement of trust with a child will cause further damage when they are at their most vulnerable. The government is crossing an ethical line when it is using children’s therapy notes in deportation hearings. We...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: Feb 18, 2020


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Washington, D.C., — The members of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) have chosen Vivian Pender, M.D., as the medical society’s next president-elect. The results were released today but are not official until the APA Board of Trustees confirms them at its March meeting.

Pender is clinical professor of psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College, a training psychoanalyst at Columbia University, and a consultant psychiatrist and psychoanalyst to the United Nations. She is in private practice in New York City and founder of Healthcare Against Trafficking, Inc., working to raise awareness of the role of health care in addressing this public health issue.

An APA Distinguished Life Fellow, she has served in...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: Feb 12, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Two studies released today in the journal Psychiatric Services add to the growing evidence of telepsychiatry’s contribution to improved mental health care.  One study examined the use of telepsychiatry in emergency departments nationwide and a second looked at the use of telepsychiatry to improve screening, diagnosis and treatment of pregnancy-related depression.

In the first study, researchers examined data from two nationally representative surveys of emergency departments. In the first, 20% of more than 4,500 respondents reported using telepsychiatry services for patients. In the second more targeted survey, among the 95 emergency departments confirming telepsychiatry use, 59% reported having no other emergency psychiatric services. The authors conclude that telepsychiatry is filling a critical...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: Feb 11, 2020

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