APA Supports White House Task Force Report on Parity Protections

ARLINGTON, Va. Oct. 27, 2016 – The White House’s Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Task Force issued new recommendations and actions today to increase parity protections that, if enacted, would further advance the goal of ensuring insurance coverage of treatment for mental illness, including substance use disorders, is equal to that of other medical illnesses. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) released the following statement:

“APA welcomes this much-needed report to strengthen implementation and enforcement of existing mental health parity laws,” said APA President Maria A. Oquendo, M.D., Ph.D.  “Full implementation and stronger enforcement will help ensure that psychiatric conditions are treated the same as other illnesses and individuals can access the treatment they need.”
The Task Force developed its recommendations after stakeholder input through a series of listening sessions held with consumers, providers, health plans, and others, and through the more than 1,100 public comments from individuals, providers and other stakeholders. APA provided input through written comments and our members had the opportunity to provide input through a listening session held in conjunction with the APA Annual Meeting in Atlanta in May 2016.

“Adoption of the Task Force recommendations is essential to achievement of parity for patients with mental illness,” said APA CEO and Medical Director Saul Levin, M.D., M.P.A. “APA trusts that Congress and the Administration will work together to ensure that the recommendations become reality. APA stands ready to work with Congress and the White House in monitoring implementation. We will also work with our members to insure parity.”

See more on mental health parity.

The American Psychiatric Association is a national medical specialty society whose more than 36,500 physician members specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and research of mental illnesses, including substance use disorders. Visit the APA at www.psychiatry.org.

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