Legislative & Regulatory Agenda
The AAGP Board of Directors has adopted a Legislative and Regulatory Agenda to articulate the public policy goals of the organization throughout the 112th Congress (2011-2012). AAGP's legislative and regulatory goals are comprehensive and encompass access, quality care, research, and education. AAGP is committed to ensuring quality mental health services for all, especially the elderly.
Two key provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), health care reform legislation enacted in 2009, are critical to this effort. The first is a new emphasis on integrating mental health care into all components of the health care system. The second is the Annual Wellness Visit for Seniors, which includes cognitive and health risk assessments, and an individualized health promotion plan. For these policy innovations to achieve their intended goals, they must be actively promoted to patients and providers and closely monitored throughout the implementation process.
Achieving universal access to high-quality geriatric mental health care also requires affirmative support for new manpower and research initiatives. As the baby boom generation swells Medicare enrollment, policy ideals are not enough: funding must be dedicated to reverse the trend toward declining numbers of health care providers equipped to serve older adults and to increase their numbers substantially. Additional funding for research on later life mental illness is essential for meeting the needs of the nation's aging population, and AAGP believes that this priority must be addressed as investment in medical research is strengthened.