Rebecca (Becky) Yowell, assistant director of the APA Office of Healthcare Systems and Financing, has been honored with the Staff Liaison Excellence Award from the AMA for her extensive work to support APA’s representatives to the AMA CPT Editorial Panel.
The award is designed to recognize “outstanding specialty society staff members who provide extraordinary support to advisors, AMA staff, and the CPT Editorial Panel.” Yowell was cited for her efforts to help APA respond to CPT coding proposals and to ensure that APA members have the tools they need to apply correct coding for the services they provide.
In their letter nominating Yowell, David Nace, M.D., and Jeremy Musher, M.D., advisor and alternate advisor, respectively, to the CPT Editorial Panel from APA, pointed out that over the last three years, APA was immersed in the multiyear review of CPT codes for psychiatric illnesses and that Yowell “has been at the center of the entire process, working not only in the best interests of APA and the APA advisors to the CPT, but also, frequently assisting the other specialty societies. . . .”
APA was also honored by the AMA, which bestowed the Educational Excellence Award on APA for its efforts to help members learn the CPT coding system after extensive changes were implemented earlier this year. The award is given to a medical specialty society “whose educational program and materials serve to inspire the expansion of educational programs for its membership.” As then-APA Medical Director James H. Scully Jr., M.D., explained, “Since many [APA] members had little familiarity with the evaluation and management codes that became part of coding for a psychiatrist’s patient encounters in 2013, it was essential that we undertook a major educational effort to introduce them to these codes and their documentation requirements.”
APA submitted its nomination jointly with the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), with which it partnered in developing materials to inform psychiatrists about the CPT coding changes.
Also winning recognition for his service in assisting the CPT Editorial Panel was Illinois psychiatrist Benjamin Shain, M.D., who received honorable mention for the Burgess Gordon Memorial Award for his work as an advisor from AACAP.