AHIP Statement on Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act

Posted on November 8, 2013 by AHIP Coverage

Washington, D.C. – America's Health Insurance Plans' (AHIP) President and CEO Karen Ignagni released the following statement in response to the final rule on Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA) finalized today by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: 

"Helping patients get the care they need for physical, mental, and behavioral health conditions has been a top priority for our industry. Health plans have long supported the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Act and have worked to implement these requirements in a manner that is affordable, safe, and effective for patients. We appreciate that the final rule enables patients with mental and behavioral health conditions to continue to benefit from the innovative programs and services health plans have pioneered."

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Health plans employ a variety of tools as part of ongoing efforts to promote effective, evidence-based care, including:

  • Case management: Many health plans provide case management services for individuals with significant health needs (e.g., members with serious mental illness such as schizophrenia, individuals who have been hospitalized for behavioral health conditions, and people with multiple medical and behavioral health conditions). In these programs, patients are paired with case managers who coordinate the medical, behavioral health, and social services they need.
  • EMRs and other IT platforms used to link services together and facilitate referral to social and mental health support
  • Online tools to help people easily find mental health professionals in their area including identifying specialists in their area including psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and counselors
  • Online resource centers to help people understand their benefits, and toll-free numbers people can call for help
  • Tools to help providers easily understand billing and coding and benefits
  • Tools to assist in self-assessment as a starting point to speak with their physician
  • In underserved areas, for example, some plans have retail clinics to address social issues as well as medical and mental health issues

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