Lieberman, Kennedy Hope Final Rule Will Fill Parity Law Gap.

In The Hill (10/8) “Congress Blog,” American Psychiatric Association president Jeffrey Lieberman, MD, and former Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI), who was the co-sponsor of the 2008 Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA), wrote, “We hope that the long-anticipated Final Rule will fill the gap left in the Parity Law so that the millions of Americans with a mental illness are no longer the subject of discrimination and abuse, and will have fair access to evidence-based treatments.” The pair asserted, “We must hold the government, insurers, and providers accountable until every person who is in need has access to affordable” mental healthcare of good quality. Only then will it be possible to achieve “a truly equitable system.”

Psychiatric News (10/9) quotes Dr. Lieberman, who said that “the promise of the MHPAEA remains unfulfilled and will until the Final Rule for its implementation is issued and we are assured of its enforcement.” Kennedy is quoted as saying, “With health exchanges taking
root in all 50 states, we can’t wait another moment for the final rule on this law, which helps to remove the arbitrary distinctions between the brain and the body…when it comes to health care.”

The Time (10/9, Sifferlin) “Healthland” blog reported that “mental illness is an increasingly prominent plot line on television.” However, “portrayals can be a double-edged sword…as they raise awareness of the realities of living with mental illness while frequently focusing on some of the more extreme symptoms and therapies.” Forensic psychiatrist Vasilis Pozios, MD, a spokesperson for the American Psychiatric Association, focused on the positive aspects, explaining that “aside from helping those unfamiliar with mental illnesses to have a more realistic and unbiased view of psychiatric disorders, the depictions may help patients struggling with mental illness as well.”

Related Links:

— “Make good on mental health parity, “Jeffrey Lieberman, The Hill, October 8, 2013.

Posted in In The News.