Leading Stories, Articles

August 26th, 2019

APA calls on CMS to revise auditing practices after notices alarm psychologists

By Janine Weisman

The letters psychologists starting receiving last fall from a Medicare contractor stated they were for “educational purposes.” No reply was necessary. But they alarmed many who provide mental health care for those aged 65 and over and people with disabilities enrolled in Medicare, the federally-funded health insurance program overseen by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Recipients were sent a comparative billing statement (CBR) comparing their Medicare billing and service patterns with the averages for psychologists regionally and nationally. CMS calls a CBR an educational tool allowing a health care provider or supplier to compare their billing practices [More]

July 4th, 2019

New APA guidelines for girls and women put focus on strengths

By Janine Weisman

The empowering #MeToo hashtag didn’t exist yet when the American Psychological Association (APA) issued its first practice guidelines for treating girls and women in 2007. Now, the updated version of these APA guidelines acknowledges the strength and resilience many girls and women possess to overcome adversity from the effects of sexism, oppression, discrimination, and prejudice. Released in May, the new APA guidelines follow the release of recommendations for treating boys and men published last year. Previous guidelines for psychological practice include those for working with racial and ethnic minorities, older adults, LGBT clients, and people with disabilities. “We don’t mean to [More]

August 31st, 2018

Conversion therapy ban passes in New Hampshire, fails in Massachusetts and is vetoed in Maine

By Catherine Robertson Souter

In a movement that seems to be growing, a ban on mental health professionals providing conversion therapy for people under 18 has been signed into law in 15 states. There have been five bans this year alone. In June, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu signed a bill banning the practice in that state. “There has been a real cultural shift,” said Shannon Bader, Ph.D, A.B.P.P., the legislative chair for the New Hampshire Psychological Association. “We were the 14th state with an outright ban.” Historically, conversion therapy has included everything from instruction on why and how to change to shaming the [More]