Federal News & Issues

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


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

Washington, DC — Representing more than a half-million of America's frontline physicians and medical students, leaders from six major medical organizations—the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American College of Physicians, the American Osteopathic Association and the American Psychiatric Association—issued the following joint statement opposing new guidance issued by the U.S. Centers for Medicaid and Medicaid Services (CMS):

“The CMS guidance issued today fundamentally alters the Medicaid program in a way that disproportionately burdens states, threatens the public safety net and makes it more difficult for our patients to get the care they need. By giving states the option to pursue block grants and per capita...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: Jan 30, 2020

On behalf of a coalition of the nation’s leading organizations dedicated to the care, health, education, well-being, and welfare of children and families, Arent Fox LLP filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in support of the Plaintiff in Jenny Lisette Flores, et al., v. William Barr, Attorney General of the United States, et al. Nearly thirty organizations steadfastly oppose the Trump Administration’s new regulations that overturn protections guaranteed to immigrant children under the Flores Settlement Agreement (“FSA”).

“We were pleased with the district court’s decision that the new regulations concerning the placement of minors are not consistent with the Flores Agreement and strongly encourage the Ninth Circuit to uphold that decision,” said Arent Fox Partner David L. Dubrow, lead attorney on...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: Jan 29, 2020



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