The American Association of Psychiatric Pharmacists (AAPP) is a professional membership association representing nearly 3,000 psychiatric pharmacists. AAPP’s membership consists of specialized pharmacists, many being Board Certified Psychiatric Pharmacists (BCPP), who treat patients living with psychiatric disorders, including substance use disorders.
Psychiatric pharmacists are on the frontlines providing direct patient care, optimizing medication outcomes, and supporting fellow health care colleagues in primary care and mental health. Insufficient reimbursement continues to stand in the way of many practices and institutions seeking to include a psychiatric pharmacist on the care team. In order to expand the use of psychiatric pharmacists, federal payment polices must be changed to allow psychiatric pharmacists to directly bill for their comprehensive medication management services.
Patients with psychiatric and substance use disorders are currently confronted with a health care system that lacks mental health providers and is unable to meet their unique needs. These patients deserve high-quality, evidence-based, measurement-driven, comprehensive care that psychiatric pharmacists can provide as an integral member of interprofessional teams.
People living with mental illness need timely and safe access to mental health and substance use disorder (SUD) services now more than ever, and are likely to continue to need behavioral health care long after the official public health emergency declaration is over. Research shows that the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly exacerbated existing behavioral health issues leading to substantial increases in anxiety, depression, and SUDs.
To increase patient access to psychiatric pharmacist services, AAPP’s federal policy priorities for 2022 are as follows:
AAPP will play an active role in legislative and regulatory advocacy to:
AAPP will actively work with key partners to advance legislative and regulatory policies to: