Government News
Join APA Lifers, AARP And Make a Difference
Psychiatric News
Volume 36 Number 20 page 26-26

APA Lifers President Captane P. Thomson, M.D., is pleased that APA’s "senior" members still have a role to play in the development of public policy.

In May the APA Assembly passed an action paper from Area 6 asking the APA Lifers (life members and fellows of APA) to lobby the AARP concerning the discrepancy in Medicare copayment for outpatient care. The Joint Commission on Government Relations (JCGR) met with the Lifers Executive Committee last month and recommended that all psychiatrists who are eligible (age 50 and over) join the AARP and lobby in each state to elevate the issue of discrimination against mentally ill Medicare beneficiaries to a priority for the AARP leadership nationally.

While prescription drug coverage is the AARP’s top priority today, there is no longer any real justification for charging a mentally ill senior or disabled person half the cost of outpatient psychiatric care when the copayment is only 20 percent for other medical services or for the same psychotropic medication management when provided by other physicians, said Thomson.

All life members and life fellows are urged to join the Lifers, an APA-affiliated organization, and AARP to participate in this antidiscrimination fight on behalf of patients.

Further information is available from Thomson at (530) 753-7223 (phone or fax) or from Barbara Matos by phone at (202) 682-6286 or e-mail at bmatos@psych.org.

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