APA Assembly Reports

The APA Assembly Meeting was held in Washington DC  Oct 30-Nov1. In addition to hearing many reports, approximately thirty motions were voted on, key among them, the following:

1]  That the APA engage CMS to find a mechanism to pay for prescriptions ordered by psychiatrists who do not participate in Medicaid as well as pursue this issue more generally. This would include a state-by-state effort.

2] Approved the Guideline on the use of antipsychotics to treat agitation or psychosis in patients with dementia.

3] That the APA should explore with other major medical organizations whether medical organizations should advocate that clinicians be reimbursed for time spent obtaining prior authorization .

4] That the APA encourage residency training programs to improve access to buprenorphine training.

5]  That the APA support equality in the number of years of ACGME-accredited training programs required for IMGs and US medical grads for the purpose of obtaining permanent medical licensure.

6] That the APA form a workgroup for the purpose of developing an electronic clinical decision support product that leverages the information and knowledge within the APA’s Practice Guidelines and other guides [somewhat limited by the lack of guidelines or other guides].

7] That the election of Assembly officers be based on one vote per representative, thereby doing away with the “vote by strength” option for Assembly Election voting only. This in effect gave ACROSS representatives, including the AAPA representative, a vote equal to that of any DB representative.

8] The present Bylaws limit number of nominations for Area Trustee to two.  Motion passed that Nominating Committee can nominate more than two candidates for Area Trustee.

Assembly carefully reviewed about a dozen position statements to check for relevance to current status, and re-approved them with almost no changes.

Other notes from this Assembly meeting. 

Steven Sharfstein, an AAPA member, received the Profile in Courage Award for resisting efforts by the Department of Defense to involve the APA in the interrogations of prisoners at Guantanamo during his APA Presidency.  His work has very well served the American Psychiatric Association reputation. 

The Career, Leadership, and Mentorship program  heard a presentation by Miguel Alampay on “Using Might to Make Things Right.”

APA is developing a toolkit on scope-of-practice issues.

Two parity lawsuits continue where it is felt psychiatry is not being treated the same as other medical specialties.  

Total membership has increased about 1 percent even though there has been a decrease in the number of international members. 

Over past year, APA and APA Foundation combined reserves increase about 9 million to $134,700,000.

Decreases in DSM-5 revenues will likely present fiscal challenges soon, either find a way to increase revenues or find a way to reduce expenses.

Barry K Herman, MD MMM

AAPA Assembly Representative.

Thanks to Roger Peele, an AAPA member for his contributions to this report.