Professional News
Removing Barriers to MH Care
Psychiatric News
Volume 36 Number 15 page 6-6

The AMA’s Council on Medical Service Report 9 was a comprehensive review of current barriers to and limitations in access to mental health services. In addition, the report contained several recommendations, calling on the AMA to take these actions:

• Reaffirm its existing policies that support parity of mental health benefits.

• Reaffirm its existing policy opposing the carving out of treatment for mental illness.

• Advocate for providing accurate information regarding mental illness to increase public awareness.

• Advocate for improving public awareness regarding effective treatment of mental illness.

• Advocate for ensuring the supply of psychiatrists, especially in rural areas and for children.

• Advocate for reducing financial barriers to treatment.

• Advocate that psychiatrists be reimbursed for evaluation and management services by both private and public payers.

• Advocate for direct access to a psychiatrist in insurance carriers’ referral processes.

• Continue working with specialty societies to identify and eliminate additional barriers.

CMS Report 9 may be accessed on the Web at www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/category/5183.html.

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