New Regulations Clarify Mental Health Parity Law – Article Example

The paper "New Regulations Clarify Mental Health Parity Law" is a worthy example of an article review on health sciences and medicine.
The article titled New regulations clarify mental health parity law s that employers would no longer be allowed to require employees to pay separate deductibles for mental and ‘regular’ health care. Following the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, mental health care treatments will be required to be on the same level as medical and surgical care practices. Furthermore, employers are no longer permitted to have gatekeepers direct the type of mental health care available, unless such restrictions are also placed on medical and surgical care. Similarly, employers cannot require participants to have to completely use the EAP benefits before receiving mental health treatment unless similar restrictions are placed on medical and surgical care.
The article concludes by stating that there are still a number of areas that need to be resolved. One of these includes the extent to which prescription drugs will be covered by the new program. Some wonder if step therapy will be required for such prescriptions. While companies have until July 2010 to meet the requirements, the laws took effect in October. Companies will be considered non-compliant if employees receive notifications saying that their deductible doesn’t cover mental health benefits.
The article demonstrates the furthered integration of mental health into primary care practices. One of the regulations, in fact, states that higher ‘specialist’ copayments cannot be charged for mental health practitioners. Even as mental health practitioners are still considered health care specialists, the prohibition of charging higher specialists copayments is a testament to the increased importance of mental health care has received in recent years.