Navigation Links
New Medicare Law Removes Barriers to Mental Health Treatment
Date:7/10/2008

WASHINGTON, July 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare applauds Congress for passing legislation to improve Medicare benefits for persons with mental illness.

Yesterday the Senate approved, with overwhelming bipartisan support, a bill that will phase out Medicare's higher copays for mental health services, bringing them in line with copays for physical healthcare services. Since its inception in 1965, Medicare has required 50 percent copay for mental health services, compared to 20 percent for other healthcare services.

The Senate passed the Medicare legislation by a veto-proof 69-30 margin, after House approval on June 24 by a 355-59 vote.

"The National Council has advocated long and hard to end Medicare's discrimination against mental health," said Linda Rosenberg, MSW, President and CEO of the National Council. "Congress has taken a major step forward in ensuring better access to care for millions of America's senior citizens who experience debilitating mental illnesses but cannot afford the exorbitant copays for the screening and treatment they need."

It is estimated that only half of older adults with mental health problems receive treatment, according to an Administration on Aging 2001 report. Due to Medicare's cost barriers, expensive inpatient services are used more often than outpatient services to treat mental health conditions among the elderly.

National Council advocacy resulted in the inclusion of a provision in the Medicare bill to expand access to mental healthcare in rural America by making Community Mental Health Centers eligible to participate in the Medicare telehealth program.

"Telehealth helps to make mental health services available in remote areas where people have little or no access to specialty care of any sort," said Charles Ingoglia, Vice President, Public Policy at the National Council. "The new Medicare provisions will make an important contribution to expanding mental healthcare in America."

The historic Medicare bill also rescinds sharp cuts in Medicare payments to physicians to help ensure that seniors are not denied care due to inadequate reimbursement for their doctors. In addition, it improves the Part D prescription drug benefit by limiting out-of-pockets costs for dual eligibles -- individuals who are eligible for both the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The bill includes provisions to ensure that mental health medications continue to be available to these vulnerable beneficiaries.

The National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) association of 1,400 behavioral healthcare organizations. Member organizations provide treatment and rehabilitation services for mental illnesses and addictions disorders to nearly six million adults, children and families in communities across the country.

To interview national experts on Medicare and other public funding for the treatment of mental illness, contact Meena Dayak at MeenaD@thenationalcouncil.org or 301.984.6200, ext. 228


'/>"/>
SOURCE National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Patient Centered Primary Care Collaborative Statement on Passage of Medicare Bill
2. Proposed Medicare Regulations Threaten to End Millions of Free Meals Offered to Seniors During Education Seminars
3. Cuts to Rural Medicare Providers Prevented
4. The Physicians of America Celebrate -- Senate Hears Patient and Physician Voices and Votes to Stop Medicare Physician Payment Cuts to Avoid a Medicare Meltdown
5. Tubbs Jones Applauds Senate Passage of Medicare Improvements Bill
6. PCMA Statement on Passage of Medicare Bill: E-Prescribing Requirement a Major Victory for Seniors
7. Pelosi Statement on Senate Vote on Medicare Improvements Act
8. Home Medical Equipment Providers Are Appalled by Dead-Doctor Scam, Strongly Support Anti-Fraud Efforts to Protect Medicare System
9. U.S. Senate to Vote Today on Legislation That Would Cut $96 Million From the Medicare Advantage Program in Alabama
10. Minnesota Seniors Speak Out Against Medicare Advantage Cuts
11. AHIP Statement on New CBO Report Showing That Senate Legislation Will Cut Medicare Advantage Enrollment by 2.3 Million
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... 2016 , ... A revolution is underway. Brooklyn-based company, ... for the millions of people who require these medical transport services annually. ... the use of technology. Now, SmartEMS has put forth an industry-changing app that ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... On June 10-11, 2016, A Forever ... Cereal Festival and World’s Longest Breakfast Table in Battle Creek, MI, where the rehabilitation ... as home to some of the world’s leading providers of cereal and other breakfast ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... Brent Kasmer, a legally blind and certified personal trainer is ... a fitness app. The fitness app plans to fix the two major problems leading the ... one size fits all type program , They don’t eliminate all the reasons ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... Austin, TX (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... Fellow of the American College of Mohs Surgery and to Dr. Russell Peckham for ... popular and highly effective treatment for skin cancer. The selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... , ... First Choice Emergency Room , the largest network of independent ... Director of its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm facility. , “We are pleased to announce ... Dr. James M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director of First Choice Emergency Room. , ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... -- The Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) today ... allow biopharmaceutical companies to more easily share health care ... coverage decisions, a move that addresses the growing need ... The recommendations address restrictions in the sharing of product ... a prohibition that hinders decision makers from accessing HCEI ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Mass. , June 24, 2016   Pulmatrix, ... pharmaceutical company developing innovative inhaled drugs, announced today that ... Russell Investments reconstituted its comprehensive set of ... "This is an important milestone for Pulmatrix," ... will increase shareholder awareness of our progress in developing ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... HILLS, Calif. , June 23, 2016 Any ... the many challenges of the current process. Many of them ... because of the technical difficulties and high laboratory costs involved. ... have to offer it at such a high cost that ... afford it. Dr. Parsa Zadeh , founder ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: