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News and Updates

Check out the News and Updates section for news about CHE and other important news related to health equity. To send your news, please contact us.

Updated Employer Guide to Mental Health Parity

The American Psychiatric Foundation has updated its Employer Guide for Compliance with the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, according to Sheree Kruckenberg, Vice President, Behavioral Health, posted in her blog on the website for the California Hospital Association on February 5, 2015. The guide is designed to help employers understand the mental health parity law, its final regulations and how it is affected by the Affordable Care Act. The law requires group health plans, health insurance issuers and individual health insurance plans to ensure parity — in their financial requirements and treatment limitations — between mental health and substance use disorder benefits, and medical/surgical benefits. The guide seeks to help employers assure their health plan vendors are complying with the law.

To download the guide, click HERE.

Parity employer guide

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SAMHSA Grant: Project LAUNCH Tribal Expansion

SAMHSA has released a grant for Cooperative Agreements for Project LAUNCH (Linking Actions for Unmet Needs in Children’s Health) State/Tribal Expansion.  The application deadline is Monday, March 30, 2015.  Anticipated Award Amount is up to $680,000.

According to SAMHSA,

The purpose of this program is to expand the implementation of Project LAUNCH systems improvement and wellness promotion/ prevention services into new communities within states and tribes that have completed a Project LAUNCH five-year grant.  The goals of this expansion grant are to improve early childhood systems, strengthen parenting competencies, and improve children’s developmental and behavioral outcomes in more communities.

You can find more information HERE.

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Despite Parity, Access Difficult in Some States

In spite of the 2008 The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA), a law which requires behavioral health issues to be treated at the same level as issues of physical health, there are significant barriers to treatment for many people. A report released by the advocacy group Mental Health America in November 2014 finds that outcomes are different in various states, with the highest prevalence of mental illness and most limited access found in Arizona, Mississippi, Nevada, Washington and Louisiana.

Among its other findings:

  • 5 million adults in America, 18.19 percent, suffer from a mental health issue.
  • 7 million, or 8.46 percent, have a substance abuse problem.
  • 8 million, or 3.77 percent of Americans, have reported serious thoughts of suicide.
  • The highest rates of emotional, behavioral or developmental issues among young people occur just west of the Appalachian Mountains, where poverty and social inequality are pervasive.

To read the article, click HERE.

To read the report, click HERE.

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