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.
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
State and federal regulators, Congress, and the plaintiffs’ bar are increasingly focused on compliance with the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPEA), particularly given the opioid epidemic and…
Continue Reading The Clock is Ticking on MHPAEA Compliance