CTMSS At The 2023 APA Annual Meeting – Our Progress & The Road Ahead.

Image for APA ACROSS Rep Article

Michelle Cochran, MD, DLFAPA, FCTMSS at the 2023 APA Conference in San Franciso, CA.
Michelle Cochran, MD, DLFAPA, FCTMSS at the 2023 APA Conference in San Francisco, CA.

As the CTMSS ACROSS rep for the APA Assembly, I attended the APA meeting in San Francisco this year.  

As part of my participation as the representative between the CTMSS and the APA, I have been actively producing Action Papers relevant to CTMSS and psychiatrists in general.  

Several years ago, I drafted an Action paper to have the APA make a draft position paper on TMS and form a component representing neuromodulation treatments (TMS, ECT, VNS, etc.) at the APA. Those first two papers overwhelmingly passed. The position paper is nearly finished, and the newly founded Caucus on Neuromodulation
has met twice now and has over 200+ members. There is a growing swell of support at the APA for these treatments, and this year I counted 23+ talks including these topics (an increase from two just four years ago).  

Last year, I put forward an Action Paper, which resulted in the APA Assembly returning to two live meetings yearly. This spring, the three papers I authored or assisted with advanced from the Assembly to the leadership of the APA. The first will likely result in the APA asking members if they can text you reminders for the APA national election to help with voter turnout. The second is asking the APA Board to make a direct, substantial Public Relations effort to improve the image of psychiatrists as a whole. The last paper I assisted with was established to protect psychiatric resident training.  

Please review the Action Papers from this year's APA Assembly and reach out with any ideas about future Action Papers I can work on.  

This next year I hope to produce a paper calling for the APA to work with the AMA to produce a mandatory CPT code for physicians to charge insurance companies for the Prior Authorization paperwork, which we complete on a regular basis. In addition, we are working to get the Council on Research to update the Practice Guidelines for the treatment of Depression and to consider a resource article which can be posted on the APA's outward-facing website to list an accepted general algorithm for depression management that can be updated frequently.

I enjoy participating in the work of CTMSS by being an ACROSS representative. I will be stepping down officially in May 2024 to be the Tennessee Psychiatric Association President and District Branch rep for TN. As such, our CTMSS president, Rebecca Allen, will be searching for a new ACROSS representative for CTMSS. You must be an APA member and are expected to attend CTMSS Board meetings as a non-voting member as well as APA Area meetings (depending on where you live), and two APA Assembly meetings each year. The APA pays for your lodging and travels to attend the Area meetings and the 1 Assembly meeting (not associated with the Annual meeting), but unfortunately, not the Assembly meeting associated with the Annual APA meeting (CTMSS has budgeted funds for this meeting). Let Dr. Allen or me know if you are interested in volunteering as the ACROSS representative beginning in 2024.

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