Healthcare Policy: Policy-Priority Selection
The healthcare policy priority that has been selected for this analysis is mental health care parity. In brief, mental health care parity means that health care coverage for mental health issues or other behavioral care issues such as substance use order should be covered at the same rates as any other medical illness. With the passage of the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA), the United States achieved mental health care parity in some measure due to the mandates for this policy that were embedded within the ACA (Berodio, Glied, & Frank, 2014).Healthcare Policy: Policy-Priority Selection Essay
However, now that it is quite possible that the ACA may be dismantled within the upcoming months, mental health coverage parity is once again a major issue. This policy is important because patients with psychiatric and other behavioral disorders who go untreated due to a lack of coverage or access to treatment often deteriorate quickly in their respective conditions, and become burdens on other aspects of the infrastructure, such as the criminal justice and corrections system (Ettner et al, 2016).Healthcare Policy: Policy-Priority Selection Essay
The model of policymaking that should be applied to this particular aspect of healthcare is the institutional model. Equal access to mental health care services should be embedded within Federal law as a mandated right, and the possibility of states interfering with this right should be prohibited. While it may well come to pass within the next few months that access to any health coverage may no longer be a Federally-secured right, the government will still be able to mandate that private health insurance companies treat mental health and behavioral care issues in the same manner that they treat any other ailment. If such a policy is secured, health insurance companies will be required to provide equal coverage for psychiatric treatment and access to behavioral care services.
- Beronio, K., Glied, S., & Frank, R. (2014). How the Affordable Care Act and Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act greatly expand coverage of behavioral health care. Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research, 41(4).
- Ettner, S. L., Harwood, J. M., Thalmayer, A., Ong, M. K., Xu, H., Bresolin, M. J., … & Azocar, F. (2016). The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act evaluation study: Impact on specialty behavioral health utilization and expenditures among “carve-out” enrollees. Journal of health economics, 50, 131-143. Healthcare Policy: Policy-Priority Selection Essay