OPIOID EPIDEMIC -- "In A Safe Space, Medical Professionals Monitor What's Really Happening During A Drug High," by Martha Bebinger, CommonHealth~: "Patients tell Gaeta they may start the day with heroin or another opioid and then, a few hours later, take pills that will enhance or extend the high. That helps explain why SPOT's peak hours are noon to three or so, and it fits overdose data collected by Boston EMS. A typical combination or cocktail of four drugs: heroin or another opioid, Clonidine (which lowers blood pressure), Klonopin (to control for anxiety) and Gabapentin (used to treat seizures or nausea). Patients may be prescribed these pills or buy them on the street."~http://wbur.fm/1UOSXWy
Dear Behavioral Health Stakeholders,
I am pleased to announce that the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Department of Labor (DOL) have produced a new resource to inform individuals about their rights under the Mental Health Parity and Addictions Equity Act (MHPAEA).
“Know Your Rights: Parity for Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Benefits” is an online and printable brochure that provides examples of common limits that are placed on mental health and substance use disorder benefits and services that are now subject to parity, educates consumers about~ how to find information about their health plan benefits and coverage, as well as their right to appeal a claim if denied.
If you or your members would like to request print copies of this brochure, please call 1-866-444-3272 or go to www.askebsa.dol.gov.
In other news, HHS has launched a webpage for the Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Task Force (www.hhs.gov/parity) where you will find the latest news, information, and can share your experiences with the mental health and substance use disorder parity requirements. There is also an opportunity for you to provide comments to the Task Force directly by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We encourage you to take the opportunity to communicate with us.
Thank you for your continued support as we work together to advance the behavioral health of the nation.
Christopher D. Carroll, MSc.
Director, Health Care Financing and Systems Integration