Experts want mental health in reforms

    Mental health experts in New Jersey are urging that treatment for mental illness and addictions be included in any federal health reform plan.

    By Phil Gregoryphilgregorynews@gmail.com

    Mental health experts in New Jersey are urging that treatment for mental illness and addictions be included in any federal health reform plan.

    Listen:
    [audio: 091019pgmental.mp3]

    New Jersey now has mental health parity that requires the same level of reimbursement for mental health as for medical care.

    David Knowlton, President and CEO of the Health Care Quality Institute of New Jersey, says it’s not known if federal health care reform will pre-empt that.

    Knowlton: If you take certain mental health conditions that you can treat early on and you can intervene early on you keep them out of longer more chronic care situations that are very expensive and that are usually paid for by Medicaid.

    Mental health officials say higher co-pays or exclusions for pre-existing conditions might mean some mental illness patients would not have access to medication that could prevent more costly care in hospitals or state institutions.

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