Clinical Health Services Council
The CHSC has addressed a number of issues in the past, such as laws and policies pertaining to the practice of health psychology, billing for health psychology services, the integration of psychology practice into medical settings, and the development and endorsement of guidelines pertaining to treatment, assessment and practice matters. The CHSC also oversees other committees, most notably the Integrated Primary Care Committee, and may create ad hoc working groups as needed.
The CHSC is composed of a number of heath psychology practitioners, who vary with regard to their specialty and stage of career. CHSC members are appointed by the CHSC chairperson; all members serve three-year terms.
Integrated Primary Care Committee
The purpose of the Integrated Primary Care Committee is to advance psychologists’ efforts to establish a presence in primary care settings. Integrated primary care represents a relatively recent development in the structure of primary care systems that emphasizes a collaborative interdisciplinary approach to patient care. Research suggests that more than half of patients seen in primary care settings meet criteria for mental disorders; mental disorders significantly complicate the treatment of medical conditions; and many mental disorders involve a significant behavioral component.
Psychologists and other mental health professionals can play a critical role in changing lifestyle factors that can affect chronic medical conditions. Because of their expertise in program development and evaluation, psychologists are also in a unique position to contribute to interdisciplinary primary care and improve treatment outcomes.
The Integrated Primary Care Committee is working on the development of a coherent strategy for increasing psychologists’ placement in primary care settings. One focus of the committee is the creation of training opportunities for psychologists to prepare them for working in collaborative primary care teams. Another is addressing professional and legal obstacles to this work. The committee currently consists of approximately 60 members who are leaders in primary care psychology. Membership is by recommendation from another member of the committee.
APA Interdivisional Healthcare Committee
The Interdivisional Healthcare Committee is made up of representatives from the following APA Divisions that share interest in health issues: Division 17 (Society of Counseling Psychology), Division 22 (Rehabilitation Psychology), Division 38 (Society for Health Psychology), Division 40 (Clinical Neuropsychology), and Division 54 (Society of Pediatric Psychology). Recent activities include developing and promoting the use of health and behavior assessment and intervention codes, as well as offering perspectives to APA Boards and Committees on issues impacting clinical health psychology now and in the future.