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Table of Contents
  • US government issues final rules under Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act
  • New laws improve access to mental health care
  • Suboxone & buprenorphine: Addiction treatment with a dark side
  • The perplexing silence of suicidal police officers
  • Affordable Care Act: Good for sufferers of ADHD
  • EAPs help measure workplace stress in UK
  • Short-term therapy for insomnia can help depression
  • Teens from military families suffer from deployments
  • Veterans' access to mental health services needs fixing
  • The birth of the neuro-counselor?
  • Warning signs of mental illness parents can't ignore
  • Employers can help in cancer prevention, treatment

  • US government issues final rules under Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act
    Employee Assistance Professionals Association
    On Nov 8, the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor and the Treasury jointly issued a final rule increasing parity between mental health/substance use disorder benefits and medical/surgical benefits in group and individual health plans. The final rule implements the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) and ensures that health plan features like co-pays, deductibles and visit limits are generally not more restrictive for mental health/substance abuse disorders benefits than they are for medical/surgical benefits. The final rules also include specific additional consumer protections, such as:

    • Ensuring that parity applies to intermediate levels of care received in residential treatment or intensive outpatient settings;

    • Clarifying the scope of the transparency required by health plans, including the disclosure rights of plan participants, to ensure compliance with the law;

    • Clarifying that parity applies to all plan standards, including geographic limits, facility-type limits and network adequacy; and

    • Eliminating the provision that allowed insurance companies to make an exception to parity requirements for certain benefits based on "clinically appropriate standards of care," which clinical experts advised was not necessary and which is confusing and open to potential abuse.

    The Affordable Care Act builds on the MHPAEA and requires coverage of mental health and substance use disorder services as one of 10 essential health benefits categories. Under the essential health benefits rule, individual and small group health plans also are required to comply with these parity regulations.
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    For additional information on related issues, visit EAPA's Public Policy section here.

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    New laws improve access to mental health care
    CNN
    VideoBriefThe mental health system in the United States is fragmented, and reductions in public mental spending have resulted in severe shortages of services, including housing and community-based services. These cuts have placed even greater demands on programs that provide community treatment and crisis services.
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    Suboxone & buprenorphine: Addiction treatment with a dark side
    The New York Times
    Surpassing well-known medications like Viagra and Adderall, Suboxone generated $1.55 billion in United States sales last year, its success fueled by the embrace of federal officials who helped finance its development and promoted it as a safer, less stigmatized alternative to methadone. But more than a decade after Suboxone went on the market, and with the Affordable Care Act poised to bring many more addicts into treatment, the high hopes have been tempered by a messy reality. Suboxone and its primary ingredient, buprenorphine, have become both medication and dope: a treatment with considerable successes and also failures, as well as a street and prison drug bedeviling local authorities. It has attracted unscrupulous doctors and caused more health complications and deaths than its advocates acknowledge.
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    PRODUCT SHOWCASE
      DON'T FORGET YOUR EMPLOYEES IN EAP EQUATION

    Your employees are your largest and most important STAKEHOLDER in your EAP equation. One or two employees dropping in to say they used the EAP or a EAP Provider usage report is simply not enough to say your EAP is working. Survey your employees separate from your EAP Provider. Find out directly from all your employees.
    www.EAPSurveys.com
     


    The perplexing silence of suicidal police officers
    The Inquirer
    More than 100 law enforcement officers in the United States each year commit suicide. Thousands more are estimated to struggle in silence, fearful that seeking treatment could endanger their badges.
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    Affordable Care Act: Good for sufferers of ADHD
    Additude
    Those who have been diagnosed with ADHD or are a parent of a diagnosed child have got a lot of reasons to pay attention to the fate of the Affordable Health Care Act. Thie report focuses on the act's four major benefits for people with attention challenges.
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    PRODUCT SHOWCASE
      Client-Centered Addiction Recovery Programs

    The Recovery Place provides a continuum of care from Residential services to PHP and IOP programs in traditional, dual-diagnosis, and Christian treatment programs. Our Medical Director, triple-board certified psychiatrist Dr. Ashish Bhatt, and our clinical teams develop individualized treatment plans with achievable objectives for our clients. (866) 463-5496 www.therecoveryplace.net
     


    EAPs help measure workplace stress in UK
    Employee Benefits
    The U.K.'s Health and Safety Executive has set out six management standards for work-related stress, which list the primary sources of stress at work as: demands, control, support, relationships, role and change. Useful datasets in analysis include employee assistance program take-up, absence data, claims on insured benefits, such as group income protection or private medical insurance schemes and findings from health risk assessments.
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    Short-term therapy for insomnia can help depression
    PsychCentral
    Recent research suggests that a short course of talk therapy focused on treating insomnia can stop the cycle of depression and disturbed slumber. Researchers at Ryerson University in Toronto investigated the effect of cognitive behavior therapy for insomnia as an add-on to standard depression treatment.
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    Teens from military families suffer from deployments
    Health Behavior News Service via Medical Xpress
    It is widely known that deployment is stressful for military families, including their children. A new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health finds that teens from military families are more likely to feel sad or hopeless, have thoughts about suicide and symptoms of depression than teens of civilian families.
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    Veterans' access to mental health services needs fixing
    CNN Money
    Much has been made about the lack of jobs for veterans and, in fact, the unemployment rate for veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars stands at 10 percent compared to 6.8 percent of the civilian population. But the insufficient attention given to veterans' health — especially mental health — actually is the greatest risk to returning service members.
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    Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword VETERANS


    SHOWCASE
      Get Help For Addiction

    When employees need help with an addiction, you want to get them the help they need. Focus Treatment Centers provides the help they need. We are accredited by the Joint Commission, endorsed by the leading voices in chemical and behavioral addictions, and committed to providing the highest standard of care. Email
     


    The birth of the neuro-counselor?
    Counseling Today
    Scientists and researchers are forging a seemingly endless stream of breakthroughs with the help of technologies that peer into the brain's structure and function. And mental health practitioners are harnessing these discoveries through an array of new therapeutic models.
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    TRENDING ARTICLES
    Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

        NBC releases key findings from external EAP study (National Behavioral Consortium)
    US employers rank stress as top workforce risk issue (Towers Watson)
    Employee prescription drug use booms, marijuana and cocaine results down (International Business Times)
    EAPs help small businesses bridge productivity gap (Small Business Computing)

    Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.




    Warning signs of mental illness parents can't ignore
    CNN
    For many parents of children struggling with mental illness — a wrenching experience in itself — recent news reports can be a truly chilling scenario. The vast majority of young adults with mental health issues do not become violent, although young adulthood is typically when symptoms of mental illness, including schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, surface, experts say.
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    Employers can help in cancer prevention, treatment
    Employee Benefit News
    A cancer diagnosis is not just a life-changing event for an employee and his or her family, it's also increasingly become a gigantic consideration in the overall costs of employer-sponsored insurance plans. Learning to cope with treatment — or even the time or alternative work arrangements required for an employee helping a loved one dealing with cancer — can be a challenge for any HR professional, but a new guide hopes to provide better understanding and also offer some broader cancer prevention suggestions for America's workers.
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