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.

Recent 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

2020

JUN 1

APA Urges CMS to Maintain Recent Telehealth Flexibilities

JUN 1

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 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

MAY 6

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

MAY 6

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

MAY 4

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

MAY 1

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

MAY 1

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

APR 8

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

APR 8

APA Statement on COVID-19 and Health Disparities

APR 7

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

APR 7

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

APR 7

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

APR 6

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

APR 2

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

APR 2

APA Urges CMS to Ease Telehealth Restrictions During COVID-19

APR 2

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

APR 1

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

APR 1

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

MAR 5

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

MAR 2

APA Recommends (Coronavirus) Supplemental Funding Package Remove Telehealth Restrictions

 

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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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