Much has been written in the last several years about the advances in access to mental health care as a result of federal mental health parity laws. These legislative reforms affect individuals and families with private health insurance coverage. While I certainly applaud any reforms that remove restrictions for pre-existing conditions and mandates that mental health conditions be treated with the same level of coverage as physical conditions, much work still needs to be done.
Inadequate provider networks
With this thought in mind, during the month of January Care For Your Mind (CFYM) invites its readers to consider a need for “Practical” Parity. In the January 13 post, Carolyn Beauchamp, President of the Mental Health Association of New Jersey asks, “If access is lacking, do we have mental health parity?” In this informative post, Ms. Beauchamp shares the results of a survey conducted in New Jersey that reveals how difficult it can be to obtain a new appointment with a psychiatrist due to incorrect contact information and an unwillingness of doctors to accept new patients.