- August 18, 2015
At the Kennedy Forum event in June, we introduced ParityTrack.org, a tool that will monitor progress in achieving quality behavioral health care in every state.
Through in-depth analysis of current legislation, regulatory actions and litigation, we have already completed a parity implementation assessment of 12 states, with more to follow in the coming months. Our assessment includes a checklist of criteria measuring state laws and introduced legislation, criteria for evaluating actions taken by state regulatory agencies responsible for parity compliance, and criteria for examining litigation and judicial actions. These criteria are continuously evolving as we strive to make them as rigorous as possible.
Our current assessments offer data on California, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, New York, Maryland, Kansas, Illinois, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee and Minnesota, as well as a look at the federal landscape.
To date, we’re seeing promising outcomes in Illinois and Connecticut, but states like Idaho and Pennsylvania lag far behind. To improve their evaluation, state insurance departments need to investigate complaints, actively monitor plans for compliance, and educate the public about their rights, as we’ve seen in Connecticut.
Our position is clear: State legislators must introduce and pass bills that enable and fund insurance departments to enforce and educate, while also passing legislation that augments current parity laws, as we’ve seen in Illinois.
ParityTrack is also working to educate consumers, providers and advocates, offering important background information on parity, common parity violations and clear steps consumers can take to file an appeal. Our robust glossary takes the guesswork out of complicated legal jargon, defining everything from annual limits to utilization management, helping consumers feel empowered to exercise their rights under the law.
As we continue to assess states’ implementation of parity laws, we ask for your help. Share our ParityTrack tools and resources with behavioral health advocates and your state legislators.
We started this project because parity is about fairness. We believe that Americans with behavioral health conditions shouldn’t face difficulties in getting the treatment and services they need.
If you are interested in discussing or contributing to ParityTrack, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Just as President Kennedy rallied the nation to dream big and set audacious goals 50 years ago, The Kennedy Forum seeks to set a new standard for the future of health care in the United States.
Our mission is big, and the stakes are clear. We seek to unite the health care system, and rally the mental health community around a common set of principles: Fully implement the 2008 parity law, bring business leaders and government agencies together to eliminate issues of stigma, work with providers to guarantee equal access to care, ensure that policymakers have the tools they need to craft better policy, and give consumers a way to understand their rights.