Mental Health Gains under Affordable Health Care Act, but Miles to Go

Politico published a good summary of the effects of the Affordable Health Care Act on mental health services.  In short, inpatient services have benefitted, meaning fewer patients are languishing in ERs. Psychiatric hospitals and other institutions are being compensated for the care they provide, meaning they can provide more of it.

Outpatient care, however, remains difficult to access. Parity has been poorly enforced.   An insurance policy does not guarantee access to mental health treatment because of the limited number of psychiatrists and other mental health professionals included in company networks and other obstacles those companies create. Reimbursement rates for Medicaid patients remain low.  Dane County’s Journey, for example, recently announced it could no longer afford to accept Medicaid fee-for-service patients.

Read the full article here.

 

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