Federal News & Issues

WASHINGTON, D.C. — People seeking treatment for mental illness and substance use disorders continue to pay more and face more barriers to accessing care than those seeking care for physical illness, according to a report released today from Milliman, Inc., and the disparity has worsened over the past two years.

Patients using commercial PPO health plans – considered “Cadillac plans” because of their “generous” coverage -- are significantly more likely to have to pay out of pocket for mental health care compared to general medical care, according to the report, commissioned by The Bowman Family Foundation. When patients cannot find a physician in the plan’s network, they must go out of network and incur financial responsibility for a large portion of the bill. In 2017, 17% of behavioral office visits were to an out...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: Nov 20, 2019

There is no time to waste in confronting this worsening epidemic of youth nicotine addiction. More than 5 million children now use e-cigarettes, including over 1 in 4 high school students. The evidence is clear that flavors play a critical role in youth use of e-cigarettes. Research has found that nearly all (97%) current youth e-cigarette users use flavored e-cigarettes and 70% cite flavors as a key reason for their use. The 2019 National Youth Tobacco Survey found that 57.3% of high school e-cigarette users use mint- or menthol-flavored products, an increase from 38.1% in 2018 and 21.0% in 2017.

Youth e-cigarette use and nicotine addiction leads to increased risk of cigarette use. Tobacco remains accessible to minors, and more needs to be done to prevent young people from using these addictive products. We must do everything we...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: Nov 19, 2019

Rates of suicide and drug-related deaths are at record levels.  This crisis is being exacerbated by inadequate access to care for mental health and substance use for Americans across the country. To realign market forces to focus on a more sustainable approach and ensure affordable access to high value, effective treatment, a group of influential non-profits announced a partnership to implement The Path Forward for Mental Health and Substance Use.

The National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions, American Psychiatric Association, American Psychiatric Association Foundation Center for Workplace Mental Health and Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute have launched The Path Forward initiative to execute a disciplined, private sector approach to systematically and measurably improve five established best practices of mental...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: Nov 14, 2019

Washington, DC – The Partnership to Amend 42 CFR Part 2 (Partnership), a coalition of nearly 50 health care organizations committed to aligning 42 CFR Part 2 (Part 2) with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) for the purposes of treatment, payment, and health care operations (TPO), today submitted comments in response to the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), “Coordinating Care and Information Sharing in the Treatment of Substance Use Disorders,” released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The proposed rule would modify Part 2, the federal regulations that govern confidentiality of drug and alcohol treatment and...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: Oct 25, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As part of a week-long programming focus, “CBS This Morning” aired a special live broadcast today titled "Stop the Stigma: A Conversation About Mental Health." It featured interviews with Jane Pauley, Karamo Brown, a culture expert on “Queer Eye,” Miana Bryant, founder of “The Mental Elephant,” Cynthia Germanotta, who co-founded the Born This Way Foundation with her daughter Lady Gaga, and Sue Varma, M.D., a fellow of the American Psychiatric Association (APA).

APA was one of a few mental health organizations that helped consult on the special. For instance, former APA President Carol Bernstein, M.D., provided expertise to the show’s producers.

APA President Bruce Schwartz, M.D., issued the following statement in response:

“It is terrific and encouraging to see a top television...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: Oct 23, 2019



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