Location: Indiana, United States

I became a Professor Emeritus after serving 29 years as a recreational therapy faculty member at Indiana University. I'm a long-time Hoosier, having grown up in Hanover, Indiana. My RT practitioner work was in psych/mental health. After completing my Ph.D. at the University of Illinois, my first faculty position was at the University of North Texas. RT has been a wonderful profession for me as I have had the opportunity to serve as an author and national leader.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Mental Health Bill Making Progress

A news release from Mental Health America, dated July 16, 2008:

Mental Health America Applauds Senate, House Override of Medicare Bill Veto
Urges Quick Action on Mental Health Parity Bill

Alexandria, VA. (July 16, 2008)—Mental Health America today applauded Congress’ override Tuesday of President Bush’s veto of a Medicare bill that would significantly reduce a major barrier to outpatient mental health services for beneficiaries and urged quick action on a mental health parity bill.

“We applaud the members of Congress who voted to override the veto,” said David Shern, Ph.D., president and CEO of Mental Health America. “This bill is major step forward in eliminating discriminatory barriers that limit access to mental health care, with often tragic results. We now urge them to complete work on mental health parity legislation, which would make insurance discrimination against people with mental health conditions unlawful.”

House and Senate negotiators reached agreement on a policy framework for the mental health bill, but have yet to come up with a plan to fund the measure.

The Medicare bill would phase out the current 50 percent coinsurance rate for mental health services to the 20 percent rate beneficiaries now pay for other medical outpatient services. The disparity, which has existed since the inception of Medicare in 1965, is a major barrier to needed services.


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