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Centerstone Media Statement: Senate Hearing on 21st Century Cures & Mental Health Needs

From David Guth, CEO of Centerstone:

“Today, lawmakers are gathering to discuss the implementation of the 21st Century Cures Act. This law, which accelerates the discovery, development, and delivery of new treatments and cures, has great potential to help us better respond to our nation’s mental health needs, including the growing opioid epidemic. Unfortunately, serious barriers to reimbursement and access to mental health and addiction services are preventing this from happening.

Many of these barriers are the result of lack of enforcement of the mental health parity act. These laws are designed to ensure that mental health and addiction benefits are equal to medical and surgical benefits. Behavioral health providers across the nation are reporting increases in denials that violate parity laws, and more importantly, compromise people’s access to care.

As a nation, we can do better to ensure those struggling with addiction and mental health services receive timely, life-saving care. We thank Congress for its attention to this issue and urge the US Department of Health and Human Services to begin the full and faithful implementation of the parity law; doing so will be a critical step in safeguarding access to evidence based treatments, and ultimately stemming the tide in our nation’s opioid crisis.”