The AAPP Board and Government Affairs Council have identified policy priorities which reflect the identity of our organization, help us work on behalf of our patients, serve our members’ interests, and create an action plan for best targeted impact. The issue briefs below support these policy priorities.

Psychiatric Pharmacists Add Value To The Interprofessional Patient Care Team

This issue brief describes how psychiatric pharmacists add value to the interprofessional patient care team. Three patient stories illustrate what the pharmacist interaction looks like in practice. Psychiatric pharmacists are highly trained, advanced practice clinical pharmacists accessible in many settings. They improve patient outcomes by delivering comprehensive medication management. Learn more.

Psychiatric Pharmacists: A Leading Solution to the Behavioral Health Workforce Shortage

Patients living with serious mental illness have complex and growing needs and the behavioral health workforce can't keep pace with the ratcheting demand for services. This issue brief outlines this growing crisis and how psychiatric pharmacists can serve as a leading option to expand access to care and assist in filling gaps. Learn more.

Access to Mental Health Care Matters

This issue brief confronts the challenge of obtaining timely psychiatric care and services due to the shortage of mental health providers across the nation. Patients with serious mental illness experience shorter life expectancies due to multiple co-occurring health conditions and their inability to navigate the health care system. These patients deserve the high-quality, evidence-based, measurement-driven, comprehensive care that psychiatric pharmacists can provide as an integral member of interprofessional teams. Patients cared for by an interdisciplinary team including psychiatric pharmacists, can benefit from a unique skill set that complements other members of the interprofessional team, including physicians, behavioral health providers, and nurses. Learn more.

AAPP Urges CMS To Pay For Comprehensive Medication Management (CMM) Provided By Psychiatric Pharmacists

This issue brief confronts the obstacles built into the system that reduce access to CMM and in turn drive up cost. Psychiatric pharmacists address obstacles and bridge the gap as important members of the health care team, by providing expert, evidence-based CMM services for the most complex patients with mental health and substance use disorders. CMM results in better care, reduced costs, improved access to care, improved provider work life, improved patient satisfaction, improved outcomes, and improved quality of care. Access to this level of impactful care can only happen if these services are covered and psychiatric pharmacists are reimbursed. Learn more.

Addressing the Treatment Gap for Opioid and Substance Use Disorders

This issue brief describes the challenges the country faces in addressing the opioid epidemic and Substance Use Disorders and the role psychiatric pharmacists can play in optimizing and expanding treatment options. The issue brief describes how psychiatric pharmacists are a severely underutilized resource. The brief notes that despite the significant value and expertise provided by psychiatric pharmacists in the prevention and treatment of SUDs, federal policies remain a barrier to practice within integrated healthcare teams. Policy recommendations within the brief encourage removal of the barriers to prevent psychiatric pharmacists from prescribing opioid addiction treatments and recognizing clinical pharmacists as providers by allowing Medicare to reimburse pharmacists for providing Part B services, which would otherwise be provided by a physician, NP or PA. Learn more.

Psychiatric Pharmacists Increase Access to Care for Children and Adolescents

Access to specialized mental health and crisis professionals for children and adolescents is severely limited contributing to the growing youth mental health crisis. This issue brief outlines how psychiatric pharmacists are part of the solution to achieve both early intervention and optimization of medications to improve outcomes. The issue brief calls on Congress to support the integration of psychiatric pharmacists in pediatric primary care and the payment of CMM by psychiatric pharmacists.


Psychiatric Pharmacists Play Important Role in Suicide Risk Mitigation

Suicide is a global public health concern and a priority of the World Health Organization (WHO) since 2014. It has a devastating impact on communities and families. Psychiatric pharmacists implement evidence-based suicide risk mitigation interventions and are a key part of suicide prevention strategies. This issue brief calls on Congress to support the integration of psychiatric pharmacists in health care settings by paying for comprehensive medication management (CMM) provided by psychiatric pharmacists.

Enact Telehealth Reform

This issue brief urges Congress to take action on permanent telehealth reform by removing restrictions on medicare beneficiary access to mental and behavioral health services provided via telehealth, removing restrictions on the location of the patient and provider, allowing telephonic (audio-only) services for mental health and substance use disorder services, and by continuing payment parity for telehealth services. Learn more.

Protect 340B Drug Pricing Program

This issue brief urges the continuation of the 340B drug procing program as a means to sustain and expand access to high quality psychiatric pharmacy patient care services, including comprehensive medication management. Psychiatric pharmacists improve access to care, optimize medication outcomes and reduce health care costs and the savings leveraged from 340B savings is an important and way to pay for those services. Learn more.