Expressing appreciation for the support APA provided during a four-year suit against a managed-care company, the New Jersey Psychological Association (NJPA) has donated $25,000 to APA's Legal Action Fund.
APA gave NJPA financial and consultative support throughout the suit, which claimed that seven New Jersey practitioners were inappropriately terminated from a CIGNA Behavioral Health Inc. managed-care panel.
At a dinner on Nov. 30, NJPA congratulated the seven psychologist plaintiffs and the attorneys on obtaining a settlement. The psychologists had alleged that CIGNA had terminated them from the provider panel for being "not managed-care compatible"--specifically for asking for more sessions for their clients within plan limits. As part of that settlement, the managed-care company made an undisclosed financial settlement. It also committed to maintaining policies against arbitrary terminations, for the protection of psychologists and their patients (see article, December APA Monitor).
During the dinner celebration, NJPA Executive Director Lorryn Wahler presented APA Executive Director for Professional Practice Russ Newman, PhD, JD, the $25,000 check to help the APA Legal Action Fund for legal test cases that challenge abusive managed-care practices.
"NJPA and the APA Practice Directorate truly were partners in this," said Wahler. "The directorate staff provided so much support for us, both financial and consultative. We could not have managed it without them."
Speaking of the various difficulties psychologists have had with managed care, Wahler said, "I do not think there is any one legal case that will solve the problem, but each case can address a piece of it."