R. Scott Benson, M.D. DLFAPA, DLFAACAP
The upheaval in the political landscape in November came with assurance that healthcare reform will change direction. This new political landscape will impact our efforts to deliver quality psychiatric care, fund our research efforts, and spread the advances in psychiatric care to the clinic.
To take advantage of these challenges psychiatrists must band together as a community and speak with one voice on the important issues. In the upheaval it is critical for individual psychiatrists and their organizations to align our mission and our goals. Working shoulder to shoulder we are more effective.
Our efforts contributed to the passage of federal legislation demanding parity for mental illness treatment. And in December we saw passage of the "21st Century Cures Act" which included important legislation for our patients and their families.
We won--at least in Congress. Now we face more pressures at the state level where insurance companies are asking tough questions about the treatments which our patients need and state laws are limiting our ability to care for our patients. Psychiatrists deserve equal stature with other physicians both in levels of compensation and level of autonomy in our treatment recommendations. We must fight the burdensome review of every treatment decision because ultimately patient care suffers. While we face more bureaucratic restrictions other professionals with less training are putting our patients at risk. "A Prescription for Disaster".
I have earned a reputation as an effective communicator. This will be a special focus if I am re-elected Area Trustee. I would like to talk with you about the challenges facing your practice and how the APA can help.
Thank you for your consideration and your vote in January.