Medicare: Independent Authority for Psychologists

The Increasing Mental Health Options Act (S.669) has been reintroduced in the Senate.  As in the last Congress, Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) sponsored the legislation along with Susan Collins (R-ME), and is joined this year by new Senator (and past House supporter) Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) and Senator Martin Heinrich (D-CO).  The American Psychological Association is working with House supporters on the introduction of companion legislation in that chamber. 

The legislation would establish independent practice authority for psychologists treating Medicare patients in outpatient rehabilitation facilities, skilled nursing facilities, partial hospitalization programs, inpatient psychiatric hospitals, and home health agencies.  The legislation would also make psychologists eligible for Medicare bonus payments for services delivered in mental health professional shortage areas starting in 2025.   

Write your United States senators and ask them to co-sponsor or support S.669.

RxP Bill in Vermont Legislature

VPA has, for several years, promoted prescriptive authority for doctorate-level psychologists with advanced training (known as RxP).  We are making progress on advocating for this important tool in addressing the shortage of psychopharmacology prescribers in Vermont.

We have introduced a bill, H.428, this year (2023) with enhanced education and training requireements, as requested by the Vermont Board of Psychological Examiners.  We are hopeful the Board of Psychological Examiners will vote to support this new bill at its next meeting, which would put RxP in a good position to be passed this session or next session.

We anticipate the RxP bill will be taken up for testimony by the House Committee on Health Care very soon.  We expect strong opposition, in particular from the Vermont Medical Society, but we believe the groundswell of support we’ve gathered will prevail and help us continue the process into 2024 for ultimate passage.

CareDash Is Gone

CareDash Is Gone

Some of you may remember our discussion about CareDash, a nationwide directory (pulled from the NPI listings) of of therapists that included individual therapists without seeking their permission or getting any details of the practice. It purported to allow individuals to schedule an appointment with every therapist listed. When individuals would choose a therapist and click to schedule an appointment, the site would pass the individual through to Better Health, an online therapy platform (not associated with CareDash, to our knowledge).

In conjunction with APA, VPA advocated for prohibiting CareDash from using psychologists and therapists information without permission. We are pleased to announce that CareDash is now out of business.

As you’ll see below, all of our efforts paid off—CareDash is out of business.  The CareDash website is no longer active as of February 1, 2023, and the company itself, NuFit Media, Inc. (doing business as CareDash), has discontinued its business. This is a major victory in protecting psychologists’ reputations and livelihood.