substance abuse treatment, mental health, Milliman, out-of-network
A report found that people seeking mental health and substance abuse treatment more likely to have to use out-of-network doctors. (Photo by: Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.com)

Mental Health, Substance Abuse Treatment Patients Less Likely to Have Access to Affordable Care: Report

A Milliman Research Report found that people seeking mental health and substance abuse treatment are more likely to have to use out-of-network doctors, according to The Washington Post.

The report, published by Milliman for the Bowman Family Foundation, a risk management and healthcare consulting company, found disturbing healthcare trends when it analyzed the claims of 37 million people with commercial organization’s health insurance plans from across the country from 2013 to 2017.

Despite Congress passing several bills over the last two decades that were supposed to increase and make access equal to mental and physical healthcare, people looking for inpatient care for behavioral health issues were 5.2 times more likely to have to use an out-of-network provider, the report found.

People looking for substance abuse treatment are 10 times more likely to have to go out-of-network, up from 4.7 times in 2013.

Related Article: 4.1 Million Children Uninsured in 2018, Up By More Than 400,000 Since 2016

These are bleak numbers considering in 2017, 70,237 Americans died of drug overdoses, and 47,173 from suicide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“I thought maybe we would have seen some progress here. It’s very depressing to see that it’s actually gotten worse,” Henry Harbin, former chief executive of Magellan Health, told the Post. “Employers and insurance plans need to quadruple their efforts.”

Children also are seeing less coverage in their networks, the Post reported. Milliman found that in 2017, children were 10 times more likely to have to use an out-of-network provider for a behavioral health office visit than for a regular doctor’s appointment.

But some lawyers don’t believe insurance companies will be incentivized to increase coverage to mental and substance abuse health needs without some form of punishment.

“Without substantial fines against insurers, nothing is going to change because there’s no incentive to change,” Meiram Bendat, a mental health lawyer, told the Post.

Latest News

Colorado judge resigns

Colorado Judge Who Used ‘N-Word,’ Proclaimed ‘All Lives Matter’ While in Court Censured and Forced to Resign

Following the murder of George Floyd in 2020, Colorado District Judge Natalie T. Chase reportedly asked two Black court employees to “explain” the Black Lives Matter Movement to her. She did this while cloaked and seated at her bench in the court. Upon hearing the explanation, she maintained that, in…

Princeton University

Princeton University Lands $20 Million Gift from Bloomberg Philanthropies Dedicated Towards Ongoing Diversity Efforts

Nestled quietly in the lush green farmland of central New Jersey, Princeton University is one of the smaller and more modest Ivy League schools in the country. But thanks to a new $20 million gift from Bloomberg Philanthropies, the school could also soon become a leader in the world of…

George Floyd Murder Trial

Nation Awaits Verdict in George Floyd Murder Trial, Americans Remain on Edge — and President Biden Prepares for Serious Potential Turmoil

After three weeks of riveting and emotionally draining testimony, attorneys for the defense and prosecution came to a rest on Monday, April 19, passing the fate of Derek Chauvin — the former Minneapolis police officer accused of the slow and painful murder of George Floyd — to the trial’s jury….

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey

Arizona Conservatives Attempt to Roll Back LGBTQ-Inclusive Curriculum in Schools

Republican lawmakers in Arizona have approved new laws revamping LGBTQ-inclusive education in schools, making it harder for educators to teach about historical events such as the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City that started the gay rights movement, discussions about sexual orientation or instruction of anything related to LGBTQ…

Black Lives Matter Protest

Florida Passes Controversial ‘Anti-Protest’ Bill Designed to Weaken Black Lives Matter and Other Social Justice Movements 

In a play designed to make it harder for social justice advocates to gather and promote change, the Florida Senate has passed a controversial so-called “anti-riot” bill inspired by the recent increase in protests by groups such as Black Lives Matter. Dartunorro Clark of NBC News has reported that “the…

Disney

Disney Theme Parks Announce New Diversity and Inclusion Efforts for Workers

Following long-term COVID-19-related closures, Florida’s Walt Disney World Resort has opened back up for business and California’s Disneyland is slated to reopen on April 30th. The family-friendly company also took some time away from celebrating its big news to announce some inclusive and diversity-promoting efforts it had implemented during the…