The Parity Implementation Coalition continued their support of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA) by holding another national hearing in St. Paul, Minnesota on July 16th.
Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) attended the hearing and Senators Klobuchar (D-MN) and Franken (D-MN) provided video presentations. Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) provided his statement through a staff member because he was unable to attend.
Three panels of witnesses, including Commissioners from Minnesota governmental departments addressed the need for full implementation and enforcement of the MHPAEA. ASAM member Dr. Gavin Bart, Director of the Division of Addiction Medicine at the Hennepin County Medical Center, served on the third panel along with several other prominent individuals in the field of mental health and addiction medicine.
Most notably, Glenn Andis, from Medica, a regional health plan, testified that Medica would be willing to submit to annual MHPAEA compliance audits and make the results available to the public. Minnesota Judge Christian also presented a healthy and employed veteran who had been previously incarcerated and struggling with mental illness and addiction. Judge Christian had ordered the state to provide an incarcerated veteran with health care appointments from Veterans Affairs, and testified that doing so had successfully rehabilitated this individual, who stood up at the hearing healthy, employed, and stabilized. Click here
to read the full summary of the Minnesota Parity Field Hearing. Click here
to view photos from the event.