Achieving Parity for Mental Health Treatment: Hearing of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, United States Senate, One Hundred Seventh Congress, First Session on Examining Mental Health and Our Ongoing Battle to See that Those Suffering from Mental Illnesses Receive the Services They Need and to Provide Parity in Coverage of Mental Health Services, July 11, 2001, Volume 4

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Page 1 - US SENATE, COMMITTEE ON HEALTH, EDUCATION, LABOR, AND PENSIONS, Washington, DC. The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:02 am, in room SD-430, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Senator Kennedy (chairman of the committee) presiding. Present: Senators Kennedy, Dodd, Wellstone, Murray, Reed, Clinton, Gregg, Frist, Roberts, Collins, and Jeffords.
Page 61 - Now over 7,600 members strong, the AACAP is the leading national medical association dedicated to treating and improving the quality of life for the estimated 7-12 million American youth under 18 years of age who are affected by emotional, behavioral, developmental and mental disorders. AACAP supports research, continuing medical education and access to quality care. Child and adolescent psychiatrists are the only medical specialists fully trained in the treatment of mental illness in children and...
Page 27 - I would be happy to try and answer any questions you may have. The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much, Mr.
Page 62 - Coverage, with parity, should include a full continuum of treatment — including, but not limited to, preventive interventions, early identification, assessment and diagnosis, case management, outpatient treatment, partial hospitalization, homebased services, detoxification and inpatient treatment. Treatment for children and adolescents requires that services involve the child or adolescent and family as well as appropriate collaboration with other significant caregivers, teachers, physicians or...
Page 63 - Range of Services 2) Services provided should include a wide range of treatment options — including but not limited to preventive interventions, early identification, assessment and diagnosis, case management, outpatient treatment, partial hospitalization, homebased services, detoxification and inpatient treatment. Treatment for children requires that services involve both the child or adolescent and family as well as appropriate collaboration with other significant care givers, teachers, physicians...
Page 65 - Carolina has been diagnosed with major depression since 1979. Even though she has worked for the same company for more than 25 years, she is on the verge of losing her job because she cannot afford to pay for the treatment she needs on her own. Her employer qualifies for the small business exemption under the MHPA South Carolina's parity law is of little benefit to Bonnie because it still allows her health plan to strictly limit coverage for outpatient medication and therapy - limits she long ago...
Page 64 - ... children. Mr. Chairman, for too long, severe mental illness has been shrouded in stigma and discrimination. These illnesses have been misunderstood, feared, hidden, and often ignored by science. Only in the last decade have we seen the first real hope for people with these brain disorders through pioneering research that has uncovered both a biological basis for these brain disorders and treatments that work.
Page 11 - I just always remember her words — "the gap between what we know and what we do is lethal".
Page 64 - ... this stigma. DISCRIMINATION IS WRONG Discrimination in health insurance takes many forms, The most common techniques that apply only to mental illness treatment are: higher cost sharing requirements for outpatient visits and prescriptions, lower treatment limits on inpatient days and outpatient visits and lower annual and lifetime dollar limits. The use of these discriminatory limits and conditions has been well documented. Numerous studies compiled prior to the enactment of parity laws (including...
Page 69 - Specifically, the bill requires parity for outpatient visit and inpatient day limits, copayments, deductibles, and maximum outof-pocket requirements, in addition to parity for annual and lifetime dollar limits as currently required by the 1996 Parity Act. An employee's mental health coverage, when offered, would have to be at parity in every respect to the employee's medical/ surgical coverage.

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