Patrick J. Kennedy to Address Key Policymakers at CMS Innovation Center Summit: | The Kennedy Forum

Patrick J. Kennedy to Address Key Policymakers at CMS Innovation Center Summit:
September 8, 2017

Will Urge Funding of Effective Behavioral Health Treatment Solutions

Washington, D.C. / PR Web / September 8, 2017 Former Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy (D-R.I.) will give the keynote address at a Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) conference that will preview payment models to improve access, quality, and cost of care for individuals with behavioral health conditions. He will strongly encourage CMS – which has major influence over the American health care system – to reimburse effective forms of treatment and to enforce the federal mental health parity law, which requires that health insurers cover mental health and addiction treatment the same way they cover physical health ailments.

The all-day public forum entitled the “Behavioral Health Payment and Care Delivery Innovation Summit,” will take place on Friday, at the CMS headquarters in Baltimore, Maryland, starting at 10 a.m. ET. For more information regarding the summit, click here.

“We are overdue in creating health insurance payment models that place greater emphasis on prevention, integrated care, patient outcome metrics, and emerging technologies for those living with mental health and substance use disorders,” comments Former Congressman Kennedy. “We cannot solve the opioid and suicide epidemics until we develop the right payment incentives to promote evidence-based behavioral health interventions.”

Former Congressman Kennedy will kick off the CMS summit by encouraging the quick rollout of reimbursement for initiatives that improve the lives of people living with mental health and substance use disorders. In particular, he will describe proven models for prevention and early intervention, screening and initial treatment by primary care providers, collaborative care, and hospital/community partnerships. He will also highlight programs launched by private insurers that provide bundled payments for medication-assisted treatment for substance use disorder.

Former Congressman Kennedy is a lifelong mental health advocate who lives in long-term recovery from opioid addiction. He is the founder of The Kennedy Forum, a convening think tank tackling mental health and addiction issues and co-founder of One Mind, a global leader in open science collaboration for brain research.  In 2015, he co-authored A Common Struggle, a New York Times best seller, which details his personal journey and provides a roadmap for the future of mental health policy.

To stream the CMS Behavioral Health Payment and Care Delivery Innovation Summit, click here. To download a copy of Mr. Kennedy’s written testimony, click here.  For more information about the Kennedy Forum or other helpful resources addressing behavioral health and substance use, please visit

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About the Kennedy Forum

Founded in 2013 by former Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy (D-R.I.), the Kennedy Forum focuses on advancing evidence-based practices, policies, and programming in behavioral health. This is achieved through promoting public discourse in health and addiction issues, ensuring equal access for patients living with mental health and/or substance use disorders; and advancing prevention and treatment throughout the entire continuum of the healthcare delivery system. The Kennedy Forum’s collaborative partnerships help to foster greater provider accountability, integration and coordination, cutting-edge technologies, and brain fitness and health. The nonprofit organization publishes frequent issue briefs and is a repository of other educational resources on behavioral health parity issues. To learn more about the Kennedy Forum’s efforts to eradicate the stigma often associated with behavioral health, or to access related materials visit,, and