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Readers disappointed in government's explanation of reform

May 18, 2010
by Lindsay Barba
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Last month,Behavioral Healthcare polled its readers on how well the government has been doing in its explanation of the regulations outlined in the recently adopted Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Reader responses were almost entirely negative: How well is our government doing in explaining the implications of healthcare reform?

  • Excellent 0%
  • Adequate 10.87%
  • Inadequate 39.13%
  • Totally unacceptable 50%

Notable comments from readers included:

  • "My main concern is mental health. Individuals are not understanding their benefits. Insurance companies have not provided adequate information for consumers to understand how their benefits are now connected with their physical as well as mental health. They assume that mental health has been cut rather than understanding that their deductible is now satisfied by BOTH mental and physical health coverage. It can be quite confusing."
  • "To the average citizen, the role of behavioral healthcare is an almost complete unknown."
  • "'Reform'" is a word without meaning—it is intentionally vague to allow for the recipient of the message to interpret it through his or her own filter. The legislation actually is designed to take control of the services we offer and provide financial coverage for the insolvent Medicare and Medicaid programs without actually solving the problems of limited access and lack of fidelity to evidence based treatment."

Behavioral Healthcare's latest online poll is: Confidentiality law expert Renée Popovits, JD, suggests that significant changes are needed now for the current law that protects substance abuse treatment information (see www.behavioral.net/popovits1004 ). Do you agree that the current confidentiality law for substance use treatment information (42 CFR, Part 2) ought to be changed?

  • Yes
  • No

Using the comments box, please explain your answer. To weigh in on this issue, see the left side of our home page at www.behavioral.net.

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Lindsay Barba

www.behavioral.net

Lindsay Barba was associate editor of Behavioral Healthcare from 2009 to 2010.