‘It’s A Huge Deal’: Behavioral Health Stakeholders Praise New Mental Health Parity Rule

The public comment period hasn’t begun for the Biden administration’s recently published proposed mental health parity rule. But that hasn’t stopped a flood of commentary on the rule from entering the public sphere already. On July 25, the administration released a proposed rule that firms up mental health parity in terms of health plan’s compliance […]

Newly Released Proposed Federal Mental Health Rule Seeks To ‘Make Parity A Reality’

The Biden Administration introduced a new proposed rule focused on strengthening mental health parity regulations. Specifically, the proposal sets out to clarify health plan’s requirements for nonquantitative treatment limitations (NQTL) comparative analyses and network composition. NQTL are health plan practices that are not associated with specific numbers but still have an influence on whether and […]

Upcoming Mental Health Parity Rule Could Impact How Payers Demonstrate Compliance to Feds

The Biden Administration is preparing to release proposed rules that impact how payers demonstrate mental health parity to federal regulators. The move marks another step toward resolving the disparity between how payers treat behavioral health and physical health benefits by bringing them in line with recently enacted reporting mandates. Yet little is known about the […]

Acadia Healthcare Faces $405M Judgement in Civil Abuse Case

Acadia Healthcare Co. Inc. (Nasdaq: ACHC) faces an enormous jury award in a civil case involving the sexual abuse of a child. On July 7, a jury in Rio Arriba County, New Mexico, awarded the child, known only as G.S., and her guardians $485 million in damages. Acadia Healthcare and its affiliate, the now-defunct Youth […]

‘I Don’t Want to Say It’s Easier’: Despite Dire Need, Behavioral Health Operators Continue to Face Pushback on New Constructions

Behavioral health providers continue to face headaches while trying to get new facilities through local zoning processes. The American drug overdose crisis and the wide-reaching impacts of a once-in-a-generation pandemic have shredded the pretense that any given community doesn’t need behavioral health care. Despite this reality, prejudice against those with behavioral health issues, especially substance […]

American Hospital Association Lobbies Congress to Address ‘Discriminatory’ and ‘Outdated’ Behavioral Health Regulations

The American Hospital Association (AHA) is lobbying Congress to address several systemic behavioral health issues.  AHA requests that the House Committee on Energy and Commerce consider several actions in addition to renewing the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities Act of 2018 (SUPPORT Act).  In a letter sent […]

Biden Administration to Release Peer Support Certification Standards, Touts School-Based Services Efforts

The Biden administration announced Thursday several additional efforts to address behavioral health industry challenges. Among new efforts, the White House said it would release the “National Model Standards for Peer Support Certification.” Departments within the executive branch also announced steps to make it easier for schools to bill Medicaid for services. “The new standards are […]

DEA Extends Telehealth Flexibilities 6 Months in a Win for Behavioral Health Advocates

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) released a temporary rule extending COVID-era telehealth flexibilities from the end of the public health emergency (PHE) on May 11 to Nov. 11, 2023. The extension allows clinicians prescribing controlled substances over telehealth to continue to do so for another six months. Patients that initiate care on or before Nov. […]

‘We Recognize the Importance of Telemedicine’: DEA Administrator Shares New Details on Agency’s Final Rule

The Drug Enforcement Administration confirmed that it will extend COVID-era telehealth flexibilities. On Wednesday, the agency said it needs additional time to work through the mountain of comments it received on two rules that would claw back telehealth and controlled substance prescribing flexibilities. “We take those comments seriously and are considering them carefully,” DEA Administrator […]

DEA Delays Ending Controlled-Substances Prescribing Flexibilities, Buys More Time for Virtual MAT Providers

The Drug Enforcement Administration appears to have filed for a temporary extension of telehealth flexibilities beyond the public health emergency. This reflects an apparent reaction on the part of the DEA to the major backlash it faced during the public comment period for two rules it release that would reestablish austere restrictions on accessing treatment […]