Final rule on mental health parity - and analyses
For Information Contact:
Eve Herold, 703-907-8640 November 8, 2013
Erin Connors, 703-907-8562
Long-Awaited Final Rule for Mental Health Parity Represents Critical Milestone
APA President Jeffrey Lieberman, MD, Reacts to Final Rule
Arlington, Va. (Nov. 8) – People with mental illness have long faced discrimination in health care through unjust and often illegal barriers to care. Today, the Obama Administration took a significant step toward eliminating those barriers by issuing a Final Rule for the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008. The Final Rule provides a crucial step forward to ensure that patients receive the benefits they deserve and are entitled to under the law. In addition to providing equal benefits for mental illness as physical illness, we hope there will be strong monitoring and enforcement at both the state and federal levels.
People with mental and substance use disorders have long suffered and fought hard for treatment coverage commensurate to that for medical and surgical care. Despite passage of the 2008 legislation, many insurance companies have manipulated its intent and purpose through vague medical necessity standards, lengthy approval procedures, bureaucratic delays in service requests, and complicated appeals processes. These maneuvers have unfairly denied patients the care they need, have paid for, and are due.
As we review the Final Rule, we look forward to a new chapter in mental health care that delivers on the promise of the parity law. APA will remain vigilant and continue working toward full equity for people with mental illnesses and substance use disorders. Learn more at www.psychiatry.org/parity.
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