Association News
 DOI: 10.1176/appi.pn.2013.6a12
Benson Sums Up Year as Assembly Speaker
Psychiatric News
Volume 48 Number 12 page 1-1

As his term as Assembly speaker came to a close in May, R. Scott Benson, M.D., discussed what the Assembly accomplished this past year and what issues Assembly delegates will face in the near future. Topping the agenda, he noted, was the Assembly’s involvement in the DSM-5 process, reviewing changes to the manual and approving the final version. In addition, the group “engaged with members to better understand their concerns about the changes that the ABPN made in the certification and recertification process. We educated members on how to meet these requirements and pressed APA to use its influence to reduce the burden on clinicians.”

Over the next year or two, Benson said that “psychiatrists will be challenged to maintain the quality of care necessary for effective treatment when confronted with increasing pressure to take employed positions and the struggle to maintain quality with reduced reimbursement for care.” Assembly delegates will also have to push for increased support for district branches as they struggle with state-level issues. For example, “new health insurance exchanges must have products that include coverage for mental illness in their essential health benefits; state legislatures must protect their citizens by supporting the requirement that medical training is necessary for prescription of medication; and states must adequately fund treatment programs for people with mental illness, including substance use problems.”

He said that as speaker, he was included “in every level of APA decision making….It was a special pleasure for me to work closely with Dr. Dilip Jeste, who always asked for input from the Assembly” as he dealt with the many challenges that arose during his presidential year. ■

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