Cooperating for better care.

National Center for Policy Analysis

Tag Archives

Why the snags in mental-health-insurance parity?


Women representing mental illnesses in  19th Century France.

This NPR broadcast discusses why America still doesn’t have mental-health-insurance parity despite federal law. The text with the broadcast includes this:

“The law says insurance companies must pay for mental health benefits same as they do everything else. Addiction as much as diabetes. Depression as much as cancer. Bipolar as much as bypass. But around the country, consumers are taking their insurance companies to court saying they’re cutting corners and refusing to pay up. The insurance companies say mental health is complicated, and keeping costs down is part of their job. What does this mean for patients?”

The discussion includes:

Jenny Gold, correspondent at Kaiser Health News.

Meiram Bendat,  a lawyer and founder of Psych-Appeal, a law firm representing consumers in mental-health complaints against health-insurance companies.

Devon Herrick, health economist and senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis.


Physicians’ new world of high deductibles


The new world of high deductibles to be paid by patients means that physicians must change their billing and communication practices, says this Medical Economics article.

“Operating successfully within this framework requires greater awareness of differences among insurance policies and discussions of treatment options that are sensitive to patients’ out-of-pocket expenses.”

“Doctors need to understand the landscape has changed. A doctor’s primary concern used to be whether a patient had insurance. Now, it’s the type of insurance,” Devon M. Herrick, Ph.D., a senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis, told Medical Economics.

As for patients, they are already showing a disinclination to have as many healthcare-system interactions as they used to  now that the per-visit and per-procedure costs are becoming far less opaque and thus much more daunting.

This, understandably, scares many clinicians fearful of lower income.

Still, the “Silver Tsunami” of aging and thus ailing Baby Boomers probably ensures that business will remain generally good and that U.S. clinicians will remain by far the highest paid in the world.

Contact Info

(617) 230-4965

Wellesley, Mass