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Advocacy Update: January 2024

In 2023, APA built on recent advocacy successes in Congress, across federal regulatory agencies, and within state governments to improve access to mental health care and substance-use services.

Read below for highlights from our advocacy, government relations, and regulatory work on behalf of psychiatry this past year, and for a look ahead to 2024.

2023 Advocacy Highlights

  • Introduction of legislation to increase reimbursement for the Collaborative Care Model billing codes;
  • Introduction of legislation to permanently remove the six-month in-person requirement for telemental health services;
  • Securing U.S. House and Senate support for increased funding for the psychiatric workforce;
  • Securing increased Medicare reimbursement for outpatient psychotherapy;
  • Securing the continuation of Medicare reimbursement rates for outpatient telepsychiatry visits that are equivalent to in-person care;
  • CMS ensuring continuation of virtual supervision for residents delivering telehealth;
  • CMS allowing Medicare practitioners to report their practice address instead of their home address when delivering telehealth from home;
  • CMS maintaining audio-only delivery of periodic assessments in opioid treatment programs;
  • FDA reevaluation of Clozapine REMS to determine whether the REMS can be modified to minimize burden;
  • Enactment of Collaborative Care Model legislation in several states;
  • Advancement of state legislation to reform and remove unnecessary prior authorization restrictions; and
  • Defeat of legislation allowing psychologists to prescribe medications.

2023 By the Numbers

Federal Advocacy Conference
150 Members in Attendance (largest ever)
180 Meetings on the Hill

$220,000 raised
1,100 APA members & staff contributors

Advocacy Action Center
524 messages to legislators sent by members
600 Congressional Advocacy Network (CAN) members

Free Member Webinars on Policy & Practice

In 2023, APA began a new webinar-based Policy and Practice Insight Series to give members an opportunity to directly engage with APA staff and other subject-matter experts on topics including: telepsychiatry advancements, digital literacy and inclusion, and collaborative care.

Recordings from past learning opportunities and a schedule of future topics is available at

Looking Forward to 2024

Congressional and Regulatory Advocacy

Given the current political climate in Congress along with the upcoming presidential election, we anticipate limited opportunities for Congress to move legislation in 2024 including some of APA’s legislative priorities.

The divisiveness in Congress has resulted in a stalemate in finding agreement to fund the Federal government in 2024 and other authorization bills. The ongoing deliberations will continue into February and if an agreement is not reached, Congress will face the prospect of either a government shutdown or a continuing resolution which funds the government at current levels for 2024.

In addition, in 2024 we hope to get “clarity” in the regulatory space. Many COVID-era flexibilities are extended until the end of 2024 and many other rules should be finalized, providing stability to practice that has been in continuous change since 2020. We hope to see major updates to increase access to substance-use services both through in-person and telepsychiatry, as well as the teleprescribing of controlled substances.

Artificial or augmented intelligence (AI) will continue to dominate the health care space, leading to continued discussions in privacy and security of patient data while also offering the opportunity to enhance patient-level diagnosis and treatment. Despite these challenges, the APA Administration will continue to engage and advocate on several legislative and regulatory priorities.

State Advocacy

The APA Administration staff, in collaboration with state district branches, are geared up for a very active legislative session across the country in 2024.

We anticipate more than a dozen states to seek prescribing privileges for psychologists along with expanded scope of practice for other clinicians. APA will continue devoting resources to actively oppose these and other bills that negatively impact patients.

APA will also continue to proactively work with state district branches to advance legislation that:

  • Integrates behavioral health with primary care (Collaborative Care Model);
  • Reforms prior authorization restrictions on mental health and SUD services; and
  • Mitigates the behavioral health workforce shortage, particularly for psychiatry.

We also anticipate a host of emerging issues in the states that APA and district branches will engage state legislature on, such as the medicalization of psilocybin, involuntary commitment, and maternal mortality.

Members are essential to APA Advocacy’s effectiveness. Get involved today at

APA’s Advocacy, Policy, and Practice Advancement Team

  • Kristin Kroeger, Chief of Advocacy, Policy and Practice Advancement
  • Mikael Troubh, Government Relations Officer
  • Becky Yowell, Director of Reimbursement Policy and Quality
  • Brooke Trainum, Director of Practice Policy
  • Ashley Mild, Managing Director, Department of Government Relations, APAPAC Director
  • Agathe Farrage, Senior Manager, Federal and State Grassroots and APAPAC
  • Daniel "Trip" Stanford, Deputy Director, Federal Relations
  • Abby Worthen, Deputy Director Digital Health Policy
  • Caryn Davidson, Deputy Director, Quality
  • Jennifer Medicus, Deputy Director, Practice Guidelines
  • Seung-Hee Hong, Practice Guideline Manager
  • Kathy Orellana, State Senior Regional Director
  • Amanda Chesley Blecha, State Senior Regional Director
  • Robin Levy, State Regional Director
  • Dana Doran, Associate Director, Federal Relations
  • Christy Buranaamorn, Associate Director Reimbursement Policy
  • Maureen Maguire, Associate Director, Payor Relations and Insurance Coverage
  • Leslie Samuel, Manager, Federal Relations
  • Lori Whitaker, Program Manager, Reimbursement Policy and Quality
  • Naomi Watson, Government Relations Coordinator

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