The Parity Implementation Coalition (PIC), a group of addiction and mental health consumer and provider organizations committed to the implementation and enforcement of the 2008 parity law and regulations, applauds the inclusion of provisions that will improve enforcement and implementation of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) on the 21st Century Cures bill, which the U.S House is expected to consider on Wednesday.
“This legislation is an important next step towards the full implementation and enforcement of MHPAEA,” said PIC Co-Chair Beth Ann Middlebrook, Of Counsel with the Watershed Addiction Treatment Programs. “We thank the House and Senate Committees of jurisdiction for their ongoing efforts to provide Congressional oversight and ensure the parity law is implemented as was intended by Congress.”
“We are pleased the legislation directs the agencies to develop an action plan on the enforcement of parity within 6 months,” said PIC Co-Chair Mark Covall, who is president and CEO of the National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems (NAPHS). “We are particularly pleased that one of the provisions in the newly-released bill is the requirement that the Agencies issue additional guidance within 12 months on disclosure and non-quantitative treatment limitations requirements on plans. Absent such information, it is very difficult for consumers and providers to determine if a health plan is compliant with the law.”
The Parity Implementation Coalition looks forward to working with Congress and the Administration on the continued implementation and enforcement of MHPAEA.
The Parity Implementation Coalition includes the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, American Society of Addiction Medicine, Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, MedPro Billing, Mental Health America, National Alliance on Mental Illness, National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems, National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers, Residential Eating Disorders Consortium, The Watershed Addiction Treatment Programs and Young People in Recovery. The organizations advanced parity legislation and implementing regulations for over fourteen years in an effort to end discrimination against individuals and families who seek services for mental health and substance use disorders and remain committed to its effective implementation. More information about the Coalition is available at http://www.parityispersonal.org.