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End-of-Year Legislation Contains New Mental Health Parity Compliance and Oversight Requirements

This Bulletin is brought to you by AHLA’s Behavioral Health Task Force.
  • January 15, 2021
  • Brad Lerner , Anthem
  • Kevin J. Malone , Epstein Becker Green PC

Given the increasing mental health needs in the country in light of COVID-19 pandemic, along with escalation of the opioid epidemic, payers, regulators, consumers, and providers are more focused than ever on mental health parity compliance at the state and federal level. To that end, Congress added additional compliance and oversight requirements focused on strengthening mental health parity requirements, with a particular focus on qualitative managed care practices (referred to as nonquantitative treatment limitations (NQTLs)), in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (referred to as the Strengthening Behavioral Health Parity Act or SBHPA). Although the SBHPA was buried within a much larger piece of legislation, itself passed amidst a flurry of public health and political stories, it warrants significant attention as a landmark revision to the federal behavioral health parity law.

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