Treating mental illness and finding a way to pay for mental health treatment present a big challenge for health plans, health care providers, policymakers and the families of Americans afflicted with mental illness. The Kaiser Family Foundation’s Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured has released two new resources that explore key aspects of mental health care financing and access, which may provide valuable insights for employer and other health program sponsors, community leaders and others working to meet the challenges of providing financially viable and effective mental health treatment to meet the needs of their respective constituencies within the bounds of their available budget.
The new studies include:
- Mental Health Financing in the United States: A Primer, provides an overview of behavioral health care, reviews the sources of financing for such care, assesses the interaction between different payers and highlights recent policy debates in mental health. It also discusses the role of Medicaid, currently the largest source of financing for behavioral health services in the US; and
- Medicaid Policy Options for Meeting the Needs of Adults with Mental Illness under the Affordable Care Act, highlights issues raised in a recent roundtable discussion of national and state experts examining Medicaid policy options available under health reform to help meet the needs of adults with mental illness.
Understanding the dynamics examined in these studies and other elements impacting the effectiveness and cost of mental health and other behavioral health treatment can be invaluable to American families and communities, employer and other health plan sponsors and payers, health care providers and government leaders. How Congress and the states decide to provide and deploy resources for mental illness treatment in Medicaid and other indigent care programs is likely to significantly impact the quality of care and life of low income families with mentally ill family members and their communities, as well as the budgets and taxes of Americans generally.
For employers, insurers and other payers, the design of mental health benefit programs and procedures in their programs also must take into account the increasingly complex mental health parity and other mandates applicable to these benefit programs imposed under federal, and in the case of insured plans, state laws.
The Coalition for Responsible Healthcare Policy and Project COPE
The Coalition for Responsible Health Care Policy and Project COPE: Coalition On Patient Empowerment bring together employers, health care providers, insurers and other payers, community leaders, patients & others to share and collaborate about policies, challenges, issues, ideals and tools to improve the quality, effectiveness, affordability and access of health care in America and the functional effectiveness and quality of the lives of patients and their families, employer and other plan sponsors, health care providers.
The Coalition for Responsible Health Care Policy focuses on policy choices and their implications on these and other related concerns. Its focus is to help health care, health insurance and other business leaders, patients and their families, community and government leaders and others concerned about federal and state health policy and the implications of federal health care reform proposals on the quality, accessibility, delivery, cost and other aspects of health care to monitor and to exchange feedback and other information about these proposals and to pursue other opportunities to share and promote their ideas about opportunities to improve health care policy and effectiveness in the U.S. Participate in the discussion by joining the Coalition for Responsible Health Care Policy community discussion on linkedin here.
Project COPE: Coalition On Patient Empowerment focuses on identifying, sharing and implementing practical tools and strategies that help empower patients and their families to effectively manage their care and access and use health care resources and help payers, providers & communities to support patients and their families in caring for their families and appropriately accessing quality affordable care. Join the Project COPE community discussion on linkedin here.
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