Health and Retirement Business Roundtable Releases Mental Health Policy Recommendations

May 23, 2023

Washington – Business Roundtable today released a suite of policy recommendations to support increased access to mental health and substance use disorder (MH/SUD) services. Read the full recommendations here.

While 90% of employers provide employee assistance programs for mental health services and 86% provide mental health coverage, Business Roundtable believes more needs to be done to promote mental health and increase access to services and support for employees and their families.

Business Roundtable Health and Retirement Chair Greg A. Adams, Chair & Chief Executive Officer of Kaiser Permanente, said:

“The United States is facing a mental health and substance use disorder crisis unlike anything we have ever experienced before. More than 50% of Americans are diagnosed with a mental health condition at some point in their lifetime and 1 in 5 experience a mental health condition each year. The health care industry is facing many challenges in responding to this crisis, including an increase in demand for care when there is a shortage of mental health care professionals across the nation. We also know employers are on the front lines of trying to provide access to necessary care for their employees. Therefore, we are urging policymakers to prioritize actions that will help increase access to high-quality mental health services for all who need them.”

The Business Roundtable mental health policy recommendations are guided by a three-pronged policy strategy:

  • Improve screening for mental health and substance use disorder needs and promote measurement-based care;
  • Enhance collaboration between employers and the federal government related to mental health parity requirements; and
  • Increase support for and access to behavioral health providers.

Business Roundtable urges action on several policies, including:

  • Investing in mental health support, as established in bipartisan legislation like the CARES Act and the Safer Communities Act.
  • Authorizing additional funding to states, schools and employers for the purpose of enhancing mental health screening programs.
  • Supporting additional guidance from the Departments of Labor, Treasury, and Health and Human Services to group health plans and employers on how to comply with new mental health parity requirements.
  • Extending current telehealth policy that allows employers to offer high-deductible health plans paired with health savings accounts to cover telehealth services without a deductible or prior to the deductible.
  • Expanding the use and adoption of the Collaborative Care Model to integrate MH/SUD services into primary care and other evidence-based integrated care models.
  • Expanding training in measurement-based care and other evidence-based care delivery models.
  • Expanding support for wraparound community services and mobile crisis centers to fill gaps in care, particularly in rural areas.
  • With guardrails to ensure quality and safety, permanently allow behavioral health providers to practice across state lines and behavioral health providers with a medical license and accreditation to practice virtually.
  • Expand support for workforce initiatives, particularly those efforts focused on expanding access to culturally and linguistically competent providers and on improving access in underserved areas of the country.
  • Promote interoperability/exchange of mental health assessment/outcomes data.

Learn more here.

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