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Susquehanna Health Behavioral Health Professional Addresses Mental Health Parity
Date:12/5/2013

Williamsport, PA (PRWEB) December 05, 2013

A recent government rule designed to bolster the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA) by requiring equal health insurance coverage for Americans experiencing mental illness has drawn considerable attention in recent weeks. Susquehanna Health (SH) Behavioral Health’s Stephanie King, CRNP, believes this improved access to behavioral health care will greatly benefit the community. “Mental health treatment and recovery is possible, but patients need to be able to access mental health providers and medications for this to occur,” King explained.

“What people may not realize is there have historically been lower reimbursement rates to providers of mental health services. This coupled with lack of insurance coverage and higher Medicare co-pays for mental health visits have resulted in a system that is challenged to meet the mental health needs of our community. Improving access to high quality mental health care benefits everyone,” said King.

Statistics from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) indicate that each year, one in four adults (about 61.5 million) experience mental illness. Additional data show that 14.8 million suffer from depression, 2.6 million are diagnosed with schizophrenia and 6.1 million with bipolar disorder. In Pennsylvania, according to NAMI, 448,000 adults and 129,000 children suffer serious mental health conditions. “Sadly, here in Lycoming County, 22 lives were lost due to suicide this year,” explained King.

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