Bazelon guide to Medicaid under ACA only part of what is needed
July 22, 2012
July 22, 2012
The Bazelon Center just released a new guide to help advocates, providers and state leaders improve health coverage and mental health services in the states. We spent the day reading it and are impressed with the thoroughness and wisdom of the approach and dismayed at that same time at how difficult their recommendations are to follow. How long have we been saying we need to help state leaders understand the benefits of expanding Medicaid eligibility to ensure people with mental illness have access to the services they need? It is all well and good for Washington groups to lay out master plans but the huge challenge is implementing those plans. And in this current climate of fiscal uncertainty and dodge ball posturing, a pronouncement about “what to do” even from a most respected advocacy organization as the Bazelon Center is just not enough. I hear far too often from people on the front line that all the national guides, position papers and recommendations from above mean very little when state and local officials aren’t listening. For those that are – God bless you.
Consider just a few highlights from the Bazelon report:
Hard to argue with that.
No offense, but let’s be clear about parity. I would suggest (based on a strong hunch and what I hear repeatedly in state and community visits) that the majority of health plans do not fully comply with the parity statute. I challenge any one to show evidence that parity in the states is understood to be beyond traditional outpatient and inpatient care. (And I love to be proven wrong by the way.) So come on Network faithful, let us know what your experience is. How is parity working in your state? We are starved for examples of where parity is working the way it should with youth with serious emotional challenges and their families. Heck, we’ve even made a form for you to load up your great examples. Take 5 minutes to fill it out. We cannot be satisfied with a definition of parity as the provision of inpatient and outpatient care when we know that what really works is family-driven care, peer support and high-fidelity wraparound for youth with serious emotional challenges and their families.