Press Release

December 9, 2013

APNA Collaborates to Ensure that Parity is a Reality

On Friday, December 6th, the American Psychiatric Nurses Association was proud to be the only nursing organization present and able to offer nursing's perspectives at a meeting focused on ensuring the effective implementation of mental health parity. This collaboration of 25 key national health and mental health organizations was facilitated by long-time parity advocate Patrick Kennedy. APNA would like to acknowledge the American Psychiatric Association and its new CEO, Saul Levin, for organizing and hosting this important summit.

The Administration released the final rule for the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 on Friday, November 8, 2013. Insurance companies must now be more transparent, cannot create clinical standards to deny care, and must reimburse at equitable rates for mental illness and substance use treatment.

The final rule, however, is not the final word. Organizations must continue to work together to ensure that the law is effectively implemented and enforced, and that parity is a reality for our most vulnerable populations.

The summit, “Achieving Parity: Moving Forward after the Final Rule,” was held in Arlington, Virginia and led by Former Congressman Patrick Kennedy, co-author of the federal legislation.  Discussions covered issues such as parity education, enforcement, and Medicaid.

As APNA is organized exclusively for scientific and educational purposes, we see a part of our mission to be the education of key stakeholders and regulators on the importance of mental health parity and the role of nursing in the delivery of health care. We will continue to work to provide information and input to those involved as implementation of the law moves forward.

Organizations that joined this effort included: American Psychiatric Nurses Association, American Society of Addiction Medicine, National Council for Behavioral Health, CHADD, NAMI, American College of Physicians, American Medical Association, American Psychological Association, National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems, American Academy of Psychoanalysis and Dynamic Psychiatry, American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine, American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, American Association of Chairs of Departments of Psychiatry, American Association of Directors of Psychiatric Residency Training, American Association of Psychiatric Administrators, American Association of Emergency Psychiatry, American Academy of Pediatrics, Psych Appeal, Parity Implementation Coalition, National Association of Social Workers, National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors, National Hospital Association, and Association of Gay & Lesbian Psychiatrists.

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