New Proposed Rules Aim to Tackle Stubborn Mental Health Treatment Barriers

The federal government on July 25 issued proposals to strengthen the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) and ensure that health plans are complying with the mandate of providing fair and equal access to mental health and substance use disorder treatment. JoAnn Volk, the founder and co-director of Georgetown University’s Center on Health Insurance Reforms, says HHS and the Labor and Treasury departments are particularly interested in addressing health plans’ reporting and comparative analyses of nonquantitative treatment limitations (NQTLs).

The MHPAEA was enacted in October 2008 and built upon the Mental Health Parity Act of 1996, which prohibited large group health plans from having different annual and lifetime limits for mental health and medical/surgical benefits. However, the agencies did not publish final regulations implementing the MHPAEA until November 2013.

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Tim Casey

Tim Casey

Tim has been a reporter and editor for newspapers, websites and magazines for more than 20 years, including 10 years covering health care business topics. He has a deep knowledge of the managed care industry and pharmacy benefit management. He also has experience covering medical conferences and clinical and legislative health care issues. In 2014, the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing selected Tim as one of 15 journalists to participate in a national symposium on the Affordable Care Act. Tim has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Notre Dame and an M.B.A. from Georgetown University.

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