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Wyden, Crapo, Bennet, Burr Release Mental Health Parity Discussion Draft section

Wyden, Crapo, Bennet, Burr Release Mental Health Parity Discussion Draft

Fifth and Final Discussion Draft Bolsters Laws and Regulations Aimed at Putting Access to Mental Health Care on Par with Physical Health Care in Medicare and Medicaid

Washington, D.C. – Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Ranking Member Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, and Senate Finance Committee members Sens. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., and Richard Burr, R-N.C., today released a discussion draft including policies aimed at improving mental health parity in Medicare and Medicaid and helping to put access to mental health and substance use disorder (SUD) services on par with physical health care. Mental health parity includes a set of laws aimed at ensuring mental and physical health care are covered equally by health insurance.“These policies represent the first step towards addressing the mental health parity and ghost network challenges that I intend to build on in the coming months -- especially the challenges I hear about consistently from families at home who aren’t able to find available mental health professionals covered in their insurance networks. I’m proud that the committee has been able to come together throughout the year to release a whole host of policies aimed at improving mental health care for Americans, some of which have already become law. I will keep working to enact these policies and ensure all Americans can get mental health care when they need it.” “These proposals will help us gather additional data and increase transparency to ensure Medicare beneficiaries have access to affordable mental health services, on par with their access to physical health services,” “I thank Senators Bennet and Burr for their work on this discussion draft, and look forward to receiving feedback on each mental health discussion draft from our colleagues and stakeholders.”“As I travel across Colorado, I consistently hear about the mental and behavioral health challenges Coloradans and their children experience and the difficulties they face finding affordable, high-quality care. We need to change our approach to ensure our health care system equitably addresses both mental and physical health,” “These policies are a step forward to help achieve parity, and I’ll continue working to reimagine our mental and behavioral health system to better care for Coloradans and families across the country.”“Mental health services are a critical health care need as our nation recovers from the pandemic,” “This discussion draft lays a foundation for advancing sensible policies that bring to the forefront the importance of ensuring patients have the information necessary to make the best health care decisions for themselves and their families, and I look forward to receiving comment.”