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New Report Highlights Continuing Barriers to Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Treatment

Parity Implementation Coalition (11/20/19)

A report, “Addiction and Mental Health vs. Physical Health: Widening disparities in network use and provider reimbursement”, released today found that the gap in disparities for individuals seeking mental health and substance use disorder (SUD) treatment versus treatment for physical health conditions widened in 2016 and 2017.  

The study was conducted by Milliman, Inc and covered 37 million employees and dependents.  It demonstrates, based on actual claims data in all 50 states for hundreds of health insurance plans, that “out-of-network” use of behavioral providers is dramatically higher than out-of-network use of medical and surgical providers – and the degree of disparity has grown substantially in recent years, despite state and federal efforts to promote the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA). The study also documented much lower reimbursement rates paid by insurers to behavioral providers for “in-network” services, with the gap between behavioral versus medical/surgical providers widening.  

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