Mental Health Parity

With all the recent discussion of the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), you may have asked about the impact of the ACA’s destiny on the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA). MHPAEA is a separate statute that applies to large group employer plans (+50 people), Medicaid managed care arrangements and nonfederal government plans that do not opt out. The ACA expanded MHPAEA to Medicaid expansion plans, Exchange Plans and to the individual and small group markets. Right now, MHPAEA impacts almost all insurance products on the market, and your patients need your help in dealing with possible parity issues and ensuring access to care. What can you do?

American Psychiatric Association Resources 

The American Psychiatric Association offers many practice and education resources for psychiatrists. Access the Psychiatrists page to learn more about education, practice, advocacy, research, and more. 

APA Safe Prescribing for Patients

The American Psychiatric Association offers a resource for Safe Prescribing for Patients.

Free Perinatal Psychiatry Consultation Line 

UW Partnership Access Line for Moms (PAL for Moms) is a free telephone consultation service for health care providers caring for patients with mental health problems who are pregnant, postpartum, planning pregnancy, or who have pregnancy-related complications (e.g. pregnancy loss, infertility). Any health care provider in Washington State can receive a consultation, recommendations, and referrals to community resources from a UW psychiatrist with expertise in perinatal mental health. Topics may include depression, anxiety, or other psychiatric disorders; adjustment to pregnancy loss, complications, or difficult life events; medication consultation, including the risks and benefits of psychiatric medications; non-medication treatments; and medication management for patients on psychotropic medications who are considering or planning to become pregnant.  

Our perinatal psychiatrists are also available to help any practice thinking about instituting routine screening for depression. We can come to a clinic and provide a broad overview of best practices for depression screening and follow-up in the perinatal period. 

PAL for Moms is staffed Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM and can be reached at 877-725-4666 (PAL4MOM). Providers can also e-mail us with any questions or to set up a consultation at [email protected]. For more information visit their website