COVID-19 / Coronavirus

During this challenging time, APA is working at the legislative and regulatory level to ensure that Americans can continue to access psychiatric services and that psychiatrists are equipped to respond, adapt, and continue treating patients. APA has been working closely with Congress regarding emergency supplemental funding packages as well as the Administration and federal agencies to address needs at the regulatory level. Continue to monitor this page for more updates on APA's letters and comments regarding COVID-19.

Legislative Updates

APA worked with its congressional champions and coalition partners to ensure the legislation addresses the nation's mental health needs. As a result of these efforts, we have included some highlights of provisions included in H.R. 748 below:

  • Increased stockpile of Personal Protective Equipment, ventilators and other essential medical supplies.
  • $425 million for Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) programs, including:
    • $250 million for Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics,
    • $50 million for suicide prevention programs, and
    • $100 million for mental health and substance use disorder emergency grants.
  • $4 billion for community health centers, which is $1.32 billion over current fiscal year 2020 funding levels.
  • Allows Medicare reimbursement for telemedicine for new patients, not just those seen within the last three years.
  • Improvements to patient safety by modernizing patient privacy regulation 42 CFR Part 2, so that an individual's history of SUD can be shared with their other providers.
  • Suspension of the 2 percent Medicare sequester cut through December 2020.

View the full list of APA's CARES Act priorities here

APA's Public Comments and Letters


APR 16

APA Thanks Senator Hirono for Introducing the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act

FEB 24

APA Joins Criminal Justice, Mental Health Groups Urging Passage of the Medicaid ReEntry Act in COVID-19 Package

FEB 17

APA and Group of 6 Express Support to Biden's Executive Order on Racial Equity and COVID-19


APA with Mental Health Liaison Group Endorce Coronavirus Mental Health and Addiction Assistance Act


APA Urges CMS to Support Permanent Coverage for Audio-Only Services


DEC 22

APA Responds to HHS RFI on Regulatory Relief to Support Economic Recovery that Have Been Beneficial and Detrimental to Mental Healthcare

DEC 22

APA Responds to HHS RFI on Effective and Innovative Approaches/Best Practices in Health Care in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic


APA Congratulates President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris, Urges Strengthening Response to Increased Demand for Psychiatric Services

NOV 20

APA and Physician Groups Urge Congressional Leadership to Enforce E/M Changes Without Delay

SEP 24

APA and MHLG Thank Sponsors of Physician Burnout Legislation, the Dr. Lorna Breen Healthcare Provider Protection Act
House Letter  |  Senate Letter

SEP 15

APA & Group of 6 Medical Groups Urge Congress to Pass Vaccine Confidence Legislation and Develop COVID-19 Vaccine

AUG 14

APA and Criminal Justice Groups Voice Support for the Medicaid ReEntry Act in COVID-19 Package

AUG 13

APA Joins Coalition Letter in Support of Tobacco Cessation Treatment during COVID-19

AUG 12

APA Supports the ATTAIN Act and Urges Inclusion of Substance Use Disorders in the Mental Health Dashboard

JUL 17

APA Requests Congress Include the TREATS Act for Telehealth Protections in the Next COVID Package

JUL 17

APA and Group of 6 Urge the Vice President and HHS to Continue Utilizing the CDC During COVID-19 and Beyond

JUL 15

Needs of Students During the COVID-19 Era: American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) and American Psychiatric Association (APA) Detail Steps Necessary for Safely Reopening Schools This Fall

JUL 10

APA Urges Inclusion of Mental Health and other Priorities in Upcoming COVID-19 Legislative Relief Package


APA Responds to Executive Order on Regulatory Relief to Support Economic Recovery

JUN 30

APA President Testifies Before U.S. House Committee on Energy & Commerce on Mental Health During COVID-19 Pandemic

JUN 25

APA Requests HHS Extend the Public Health Emergency and Permanently Lift Certain Telehealth Restrictions

JUN 10

APA and Mental Health Community Support H.R. 6645, the COVID-19 Mental Health Research Act


American Psychiatric Association Foundation Announces Support for Two Efforts Providing COVID-19 Relief to Health Care Workers: CopeNYP and Frontline Foods


APA Releases Guidance on Admittance, Discharge of Psychiatric Patients During COVID-19


APA Urges CMS to Maintain Recent Telehealth Flexibilities


APA and ACEP Emphasize Support for Provider Health in the Post-COVID-19 Era

MAY 21

APA and Provider Groups Reiterate Opposition to Family Separation at the Border During COVID-19

MAY 19

APA Urges NIH to Work to Limit Impact of COVID on Early and Mid-Career Investigators

MAY 14

America's Frontline Physicians Call For Immigration Protections For International Medical Graduate Physicians (IMGs) During COVID-19 Pandemic

MAY 11

APA Leads Mental Health Groups Sign-on Letter for Telehealth Coverage of ERISA Plans


APA and MHLG Urge Congressional Leadership to Include Funding Requests in COVID-19 Package #4


APA and Research Community Request Non-Profit Research Protections and Funding During COVID-19


APA and Health Professions Groups Advocate for DACA Protections During COVID-19


APA Leads Medical Society Letter Urging Administration to Extend Visas, Expedite Approvals for International Medical Graduates


APA Praises CMS Action to Increase Telehealth Access via Phones

APR 27

APA and Mental Health Groups Urge Secretary Azar to Prioritize Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders in Emergency Funding

APR 21

APA Urges HHS to Collect Data on COVID-19's Impact on Vulnerable Populations

APR 20

APA Joins Multisociety Letter Against Stigmatization of Asian American Culture During COVID-19

APR 20

APA Spearheads Justice Community Letter Urging Congress to Support Medicaid ReEntry and Crisis Interventions Funding During COVID-19

APR 20

APA and Mental Health Community Issue Statement on the COVID-19 Mental Health and Addiction Crisis

APR 15

APA, AMA, and Health Groups Request Congress Include Protections for Physician Practices in COVID 4

APR 14

APA, Medical/Dental Groups Urge Small Business Committees to Provide COVID-19 Relief for 501(c) (6)s

APR 13

APA Urges Congress to Include Psychiatry Priorities in Future COVID-19 Supplementals


APA and Physician Organizations Address Payment Concerns Regarding Telephone Appointments During COVID-19


APA Statement on COVID-19 and Health Disparities


APA and Leading Mental Health Groups Urge Congress to Consider MH/SUD Stimulus Priorities in COVID 4


APA and Physician Community Request Assistance for Physician Practices' Financial Losses Due to COVID-19


Mental Health/Substance Use Disorder Community Requests $38.5B for Behavioral Health Funding in COVID-19 #4 Package


APA Released a Joint Statement for Care of Patients with Behavioral Health Emergencies and Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19


Council of Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS) Statement on Personal Protective Equipment


APA Urges CMS to Ease Telehealth Restrictions During COVID-19


APA Urges Additional Access to Mental Health Services Over Phone During COVID-19 Pandemic


APA and Mental Health Coalition Seek PPE for Behavioral Health Care Professionals


Joint Statement from the National Council for Behavioral Health, National Alliance on Mental Illness, Mental Health America and American Psychiatric Association

MAR 30

APA Sends CMS Critical Request to Allow for Care Provided by Audio Only During COVID-19

MAR 30

APA and Stakeholder Groups Urge CMS to Extend Medicaid Postpartum and Approve Select Section 1115 Waivers During COVID-19

MAR 27

APA Praises Mental Health Provisions in COVID-19 Stimulus Aid Package

MAR 26

APA, with the Council of Medical Specialty Societies, Advises Administration to Enforce Social Distancing

MAR 25

APA Joins Mental Health Groups to Praise State Efforts to Cover Telehealth (View Example Alabama Letter)

MAR 24

APA Unites with 270 Nonprofits Urging Congress to Defend Critical Sustaining Loans for Nonprofits in CARES Act

MAR 21

APA and Other Mental Health Allies Request Additional Mental Health Needs in Stimulus Bill #3

MAR 20

APA Requests CMS Waive Video Requirements in Telemedicine During COVID-19

MAR 20

APA and Other Mental Health Allies Propose Government Action for Suicide Prevention during COVID-19

MAR 18

America's Frontline Physicians Recommend Further Actions to Address COVID-19

MAR 13

APA Joins Other Physician Organizations to Advocate for Public Health and Safety Measures on COVID-19

MAR 11

APA and Telehealth Groups Ask Congress for Clarification and Removal of Telehealth Barriers During the Coronavirus Public Health Emergency


APA Praises Passage of Emergency COVID-19 Funding; Authority to Government to Lift Restrictions on Telehealth Services


APA Recommends (Coronavirus) Supplemental Funding Package Remove Telehealth Restrictions


How is COVID-19 Affecting You?

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APA Coronavirus Resources

To provide support in the response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), APA is collecting authoritative and timely resources in this information hub for psychiatrists, health care leaders, hospitals, primary care, patients, and families.

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