Once in the Door: What the ACA Does for You

Ron Manderscheid, Ph.D.
Executive Director, NACBHDD

Ron Manderscheid

Earlier this week, I outlined seven ways that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) helps get individuals with mental health conditions in the door to access mental health services.

Today, I’ll examine the ways in which the ACA helps individuals retain access and benefit from individualized, consumer-centered care and services.

Read More

A Foot (or Seven) in the Door: The Affordable Care Act

Ron Manderscheid, Ph.D.
Executive Director, NACBHDD

Ron ManderscheidIt is said that a problem well-stated is half-solved. In my last post, I identified the significant economic, geographic, service system, and interpersonal challenges that can slow or thwart entirely the ability to get needed prevention, diagnosis, and treatment services for behavioral health conditions. I pointed out how, as a result, few people with mental health problems ever get either behavioral or physical health care services, resulting in shortened lives by as many as 25 years.

In this post, I examine ways in which the challenges to accessing behavioral health care can be overcome. In particular, I look at ways in which implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a real and vital tool to help people with mental conditions get, retain, and benefit from individualized, consumer-centered care and services.

Read More

Locked Behind Door #3

BrandyDistance-Related Challenges
In Tuesday’s Expert Perspective, Ron Manderscheid outlined three common kinds of challenges to accessing mental health care: insurance-related, provider-related, and distance-related challenges. We’ve heard first-hand from Jennifer and Doug how these barriers have impeded their access to mental health care.

Today we hear from Brandy, whose distance-related and other challenges are not uncommon for people who live in rural areas and elsewhere.

Read More

Locked Behind Door #2

stockvault-locked99163Provider-Related Challenges
In Tuesday’s Expert Perspective, Ron Manderscheid outlined three common kinds of challenges to accessing mental health care: insurance-related, provider-related, and distance-related challenges. Yesterday we heard from Jennifer, who experienced the first of these roadblocks, and tomorrow we’ll hear yet another story from someone who experienced these barriers first-hand.

Today’s story is from Doug. His provider-related challenges may sound familiar to you: he was denied access to quality care because a provider stopped seeing individuals on Medicare.

Read More

Locked Behind Door #1

JenniferInsurance-Related Challenges
In yesterday’s Expert Perspective, Ron Manderscheid outlined three common kinds of challenges to accessing mental health care: insurance-related, provider-related, and distance-related challenges. Over the next three days, we’ll hear personal stories from individuals who’ve experienced these roadblocks first-hand.

Today, we hear from Jennifer, who, like many of you, experienced insurance-related challenges first-hand.

Read More

Three Challenges to Accessing Care

Ron Mandersheid, Ph.D.
Executive Director, NACBHDD

Ron Manderscheid

On the May 1 “Access to Care” post, we asked, “If you or a family member needed care today for a mental health or substance use condition, would you be able to get it?”

Access to care can help prevent, delay, and treat mood disorders, other mental conditions, and co-occurring illnesses among the 45.6 million adults and 15.6 million children and youths who experience a mental health condition.

However, in reality:

  • Fewer than 40% of adults and youths with mental health conditions—including mood disorders—ever get any mental health services
  • Fewer than 7% of adults with co-occurring mental and substance use disorders get treatment for both.

Let’s explore access challenges to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of behavioral health conditions.

Read More

What does Harry Potter have to do with accessing mental health care?

Do you remember the scene in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix when Harry and his friends were trying to find their way to the Department of Mysteries in the Ministry of Magic?

Harry_Potter_and_the_Order_of_the_Phoenix_poster

The group arrived at a circular hall with several doors. The doors kept changing places, and the group’s progress was halted. Finding the right door was made almost impossible—aside from the fact that they weren’t entirely sure what they were looking for—by uncontrollable circumstances...

Read More

Three Examples of Sequestration Cutting Into Mental Health Care

How are you affected?

Estimating Impact
Mental Health America projected more than 1.13 million Americans could lose access to any kind of public mental health support.

The White House warned that “up to 373,000 seriously mentally ill adults and seriously emotionally disturbed children could go untreated. This would likely lead to increased hospitalizations, involvement in the criminal justice system, and homelessness for these individuals.”

One article termed the sequester to be a “mental health crisis,” noting that some sequestration-related spending cuts had potential to be more devastating than others, both for individuals and society. For example, “a furlough for a Reston, Virginia, Defense Department worker doesn’t have the same consequences as it does for a young man with severe bipolar disorder waiting an extra month to see a psychiatrist.”

Read More