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July 15, 2020

Behavioral Health Parity Efforts in the US

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle
  • 2Neurological Institute, Center for Behavioral Health, Department of Psychiatry and Psychology, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio
  • 3Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA. 2020;324(5):447-448. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.3505

Effective delivery of mental health and substance use disorder services is a critical problem in the United States, with less than half of adults with mental health diagnoses receiving treatment for their illness.1 For patients with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or other more serious mental health conditions, less than two-thirds received care for their illness, according to data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, which included more than 65 000 respondents.1 Perhaps of most concern, in a time of tens of thousands of annual overdose deaths from the opioid epidemic, the same study found that only 1 in 5 people with an opioid use disorder obtained any treatment.1

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