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Healing Mind and Body: Behavioral Health and Reform

Friday, July 17, 2009

The health reform debate has heated up, featuring proposals from both the House and Senate. However, little of the discussion has focused on the area of mental health and substance use disorders. More than 33 million Americans are treated annually for mental health and substance use disorders. Mental illness and substance use disorders can have a profound impact on a person’s overall health and well-being. The passage of the Wellstone-Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act in 2008 indicated that access to mental health and substance use disorder services is a priority. Yet there are concerns that the cost of accessing this care could rise as mental health parity regulations are implemented concurrent with the possibility that health reform legislation might include expansion of access to mental health services.

What mental health and substance use disorder provisions are included in the health reform proposals? What cautions exist regarding the inclusion of mental health/substance use disorder benefits in health care plans? How do the quality and cost of these services, including those available for addiction disorders, fit into the discussion? How might reform legislation affect mental health parity?

To address these and related questions, the Alliance for Health Reform, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Open Society Institute sponsored a July 17 briefing. Panelists were Charles Ingoglia, vice president, public policy, National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare; Eric Goplerud, director, Ensuring Solutions to Alcohol Problems, George Washington University; and Michael Hogan, commissioner, New York Office of Mental Health, and former chairman of the President’s mental health commission. Ed Howard of the Alliance moderated.

Copies of a new white paper, “Unforeseen Benefits: Addiction Treatment Reduces Health Care Costs,” from the Open Society Institute’s Closing the Addiction Treatment Gap program, were made available at the briefing. The paper reports on studies showing that addiction treatment can significantly reduce emergency room, inpatient and total health care costs.


 Ed Howard, Alliance for Health Reform, Moderator
 Charles Ingoglia, National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare, Speaker
 Eric Goplerud, George Washington University, Speaker
 Michael Hogan, New York Office of Mental Health, Speaker
(Click on the camera icon to see a video of the speaker's presentation.)

Transcript, Event Summary and/or Webcast and Podcast

Transcript: Healing Mind and Body: Behavioral Health and Reform (Adobe Acrobat PDF), 7/17/2009
Event Summary: Briefing: Healing Mind and Body: Behavioral Health and Reform (Adobe Acrobat PDF), 7/17/2009
Full Webcast/Podcast: Healing Mind and Body: Behavioral Health and Reform

The full webcast and podcast for this briefing, as well as videos of individual speakers' presentations, are provided by Kaiser Family Foundation.

Speaker Presentations

Mike Hogan's Presentation (PowerPoint), 7/17/2009
Charles Ingoglia's Presentation (PowerPoint), 7/17/2009
Eric Goplerud's Presentation (PowerPoint), 7/17/2009

(If you want to download one or more slides from these presentations, contact us at info@allhealth or click here for instructions.)

Source Materials

Can We Learn From History? Mental Health in Health Care Reform, Revisited (Adobe Acrobat PDF), Psychiatric Services Online, 1/1/2009
Unmet Medical Needs of Indigent, Uninsured Americans (Adobe Acrobat PDF), National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare, 6/1/2009
The Mental Illness Chronic Care Improvement Act of 2009 (Adobe Acrobat PDF), National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare, 6/1/2009
Behavioral Health / Primary Care Integration and the Person-Centered Healthcare Home (Adobe Acrobat PDF), National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare, 4/1/2009
Cost Offset of Substance Abuse (Adobe Acrobat PDF), SAMHSA, 7/1/2009
Agenda (Adobe Acrobat PDF), Alliance for Health Reform, 7/17/2009
Speaker Biographies (Adobe Acrobat PDF), Alliance for Health Reform, 7/17/2009
Selected Experts (Adobe Acrobat PDF), Alliance for Health Reform, 7/17/2009
Briefing: Healing Mind and Body: Behavioral Health and Reform (Adobe Acrobat PDF), , 7/17/2009

Offsite Materials (briefing documents saved on other websites)

New Poll Shows Majority of Americans Support Efforts to Make Alcohol and Drug Addiction... (Adobe Acrobat PDF),Open Society Institute/Lake Research Partners, 6/1/2009
Ensuring US Health Reform Includes Prevention and Treatment of Mental and Substances Abuse... (Adobe Acrobat PDF),Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 5/26/2009
The Uninsured: The Impact of Covering Mental Illness and Addictions Disorders (Adobe Acrobat PDF),National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare, 6/1/2007
Coverage for All: Inclusion of Mental Illness and Substance Use Disorders in State Healthcare.. (Adobe Acrobat PDF),National Alliance on Mental Illness/National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare, 6/1/2008
Beyond Parity: Primary Care Physicians’ Perspectives on Access to Mental Health, Health Affairs, 4/14/2009
Getting to Truly Comprehensive Healthcare Reform, Huffington Post, 3/25/2009
Senate HELP Committee Testimony by William Emmett (Adobe Acrobat PDF),Senate HELP Committee, 1/22/2009
Consumer Issues in Healthcare Reform (Adobe Acrobat PDF),Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, 5/27/2009
Mental Health Liaison Group—Principles for Health Reform (Adobe Acrobat PDF),Mental Health Liaison Group, 5/12/2009
Mental Health Policy and Services Five Years After the President’s Commission Report, Psychiatric Services, 11/1/2009


Charles Ingoglia of the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare reviewed the mental health provisions in the leading health reform bills at the July 17 briefing cosponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Open Society Institute.

Eric Goplerud of the George Washington University Medical Center discussed the costs of untreated substance abuse at the July 17 briefing cosponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Open Society Institute.

Michael Hogan, mental health commissioner for New York State, stressed the need to integrate behavioral health care with general health care at the July 17 briefing cosponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Open Society Institute.


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