In light of the increasing demand for mental health treatment and simultaneous provider shortages, the private insurance industry is rolling out targeted initiatives to increase mental health support for members by mitigating many of the barriers to entry facing the mental health industry today.Continue Reading Payor-Led Initiatives to Strengthen Mental Health Resources

This blog is the second installment of our Digital Health Trends series.

Overview

Digital health services have exploded since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and behavioral health services have seen large increases in utilization. Prior to the pandemic, telehealth visits for mental health or substance use disorder represented less than 1% of outpatient visits, but by mid-2020 nearly 40% of telehealth outpatient visits were for mental health or substance use.[i] Behavioral health is the highest-funded clinical indication within digital health, and digital behavioral health companies raised $1.7 billion in the first three quarters of 2022.[ii] Investments in behavioral digital health services have the potential to transform the healthcare system in several key areas.Continue Reading The Transformation in Behavioral Digital Health Services

The AHLA’s Annual Meeting held June 27-29 in Chicago reunited healthcare attorneys across the country. The diverse group of attendees were eager not only to reconnect in-person, but also to process the changes that the now-easing pandemic has brought to all corners of the healthcare industry. The conference presenters grappled in real-time with the transitory nature of the healthcare landscape today, including the significant role that technology has played in driving shifts in care delivery. The panel discussions assessed which changes to healthcare delivery and reimbursement would continue after the pandemic, and in what format.Continue Reading Recap of AHLA’s Annual Meeting

On January 25, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Treasury (collectively the Tri-Agencies) published the first annual report on group health plans’ and health insurance issuers’ compliance with the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) as amended by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA). The Report noted that none of the comparative analyses reviewed “contained sufficient information upon initial receipt.” The Tri-Agencies made preliminary determinations of non-compliance for many plans and issuers, but the Report stressed that no final determinations had been made yet. Instead, plans and issuers may still take corrective action and, in so doing, avoid the triple-whammy of being named in next year’s report, having notice of noncompliance sent to plan participants and enrollees (essentially rolling out a red carpet for class action litigation), and the Tri-Agencies notifying the state regulator. Plans and issuers should not count on the Tri-Agencies exercising such restraint in the future.
Continue Reading Tri-Agencies Report MHPAEA Compliance Lacking, But Don’t Name and Shame Plans and Issuers . . . Yet

Six months ago, we cautioned health plans and plan sponsors that states, the federal government, and private litigants were laser focused on Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (“MHPAEA”) compliance. The United States Department of Labor (“DOL”) investigated and closed 127 health plan investigations related to MHPAEA in FY 2020. Given the changes announced in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (“CAA”), and subsequent guidance, we expect heightened scrutiny of MHPAEA compliance from states, the federal government, and private parties.
Continue Reading State, Federal, and Private Enforcement of Mental Health Parity Compliance