Mental Health Parity Under The ACA And Cures Act

The 21st Century Cures Act, signed by President Obama on December 13, 2016, requires the Department of Labor, the Treasury, and Health and Human Services to solicit public responses and feedback on how to improve disclosures of health plan benefits in compliance with the Mental Health Parity & Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA).

In Section 13007 of the Cures Act, coverage for eating disorder benefits must be consistent with the requirements of MHPAEA.

The Departments’ recent FAQ, released in June, defines eating disorder as a mental health condition and is requesting public comment on how MHPAEA apply to the treatment of Eating Disorders.

SAE understands the administrative and clinical complexity of eating disorder treatment. Professional services, such as nutrition services, need to be part of an outpatient team approach. However, essential components for eating disorder treatment or the continuum of treatment care have not always been approved for eating disorder patients. Additionally, “medical necessity” determinations should not be ascertained by weight only; indeed, clinical criteria for varying levels of care determinations need to be inclusive of psychiatric functional assessment. Otherwise, there are inherent concerns of non-quantitative treatment limitations (NQTLs).

SAE will be submitting a public comment for the Departments.

All comments to the Departments about eating disorders are due September 13, 2017 to: