WASHINGTON — Five years after the passage of a groundbreaking law establishing equality between mental health care and other medical treatments, the Obama administration will announce its final rule Friday defining how that treatment must be provided.
According to a report late Thursday in The New York Times, White House officials said the rule would require insurers to charge similar co-payments for mental health treatment as they would for physical ailments, to not require insurer’s approval before prescribing a type of treatment and to clarify how parity will apply to inpatient and outpatient treatment for a variety of conditions.
“The rule will really dictate how parity gets implemented,” said former representative Patrick Kennedy, who worked with his father, late senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts, on the Mental Health Parity Act. “We need to, most importantly, have the attitudes in the right places that this is something that’s really going to revolutionize care.”
About 26% of Americans 18 and older have a diagnosable mental disorder every year, according to the National Institute of Mental Health
The contention of this writer is and has been such that mental health services need to be addressed just as much as regular health issues. The headlines are riddled with the devastating reality that not everyone is mentally healthy largely because said services are hard to access or not covered by many healthcare providers.
This rule is one in the right direction towards identifying and HELPING those in need of services that extend beyond anatomy.