Federal News & Issues

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In the wake of the House passage today of H.R. 3, The Lower Drug Costs Now Act, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) announced its support for several provisions in the bill that benefit mental health care.

In addition to efforts that limit out-of-pocket costs for our patients, APA appreciates the House’s attention in H.R. 3 to additional investments to stem the opioid epidemic, fund Community Health Centers, increase resources devoted to the Precision Medicine Initiative and the BRAIN Initiative of the National Institutes of Health, boost financial support to help low income seniors afford their prescription drugs, and provide a modest two-year update for physicians’ services.

 “These provisions will help us address the opioid epidemic and fund important research that will...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: Dec 12, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The supply of certified applied behavior analysis (ABA) providers is insufficient to meet the needs of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in nearly every state, according to a study published online today in Psychiatric Services. The new study found there is substantial variation across states and regions—for instance, the per capita supply of certified ABA providers is substantially higher in the Northeast than in any other region.

The rising prevalence of ASD underscores the importance of access to evidence-based interventions such as ABA. An estimated one in 59 children had ASD in 2014, up from one in 125 a decade earlier, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

ABA uses behavioral learning principles to help children with ASD increase positive behaviors and...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: Dec 11, 2019

WASHINGTON – The national steering committee for The Path Forward for Mental Health and Substance Use – National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions, American Psychiatric Association (APA), American Psychiatric Association Foundation (APAF) Center for Workplace Mental Health and Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute – has selected eight locations across the nation to implement its multi-stakeholder transformative initiative.

Launched last month, The Path Forward has embarked on a five-year plan to execute a first-of-its-kind private sector approach to improve mental health and substance use care for Americans across the nation. As a key part of the initiative, the Regional Employer...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: Dec 11, 2019

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

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