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Northern Virginia School Joins Pilot Project to Provide Behavioral Health Services to Underserved Populations

Northern Virginia School Joins Pilot Project to Provide Behavioral Health Services to Underserved Populations

The American School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University | Northern Virginia has been accepted as a pilot project to utilize supervised psychology trainees to bring integrated behavioral health services to underserved Medicaid populations in Washington, DC.

The project places trainees in primary care physician offices and is intended to build a pipeline of psychologists to fill the need for these services. The program will become a model for use in other states.

The pilot project was developed by the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Practice’s Legal & Regulatory Affairs Department (LRA) and the Education Directorate. These groups work to remove barriers to psychologists, interns and postdocs within the Medicaid system.

The pilot program developed from a collaboration between APA, the Washington, DC Psychological Association, the largest Medicaid managed care company in DC, AmeriHealth Caritas DC (ACDC), and the APA-accredited Mid-Atlantic Internship Consortium.

There are a limited number of primary care psychologists in the DC region, and the collaboration was created to build the local psychology workforce. The program will involve supervised trainees—both interns and post-docs—who will provide behavioral health services in three primary care clinics in underserved areas. Their services will be reimbursed by Medicaid through ACDC, helping to keep the program sustainable.

The post-docs in the program are intended to become supervisors for future generations of interns, once their post-doc years are complete.