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This Article analyzes the initial efforts of the Federal Department of Health and Human Services to implement the essential mental health and substance use disorder services benefit required by section 1302(b)(1)(E) of the Affordable Care Act and proposes the adoption of a comprehensive and specific essential mental health and substance use disorder benefit set. At a minimum, the benefit set should cover medically necessary and evidence-based inpatient and outpatient mental healthcare services, inpatient substance abuse detoxification services, inpatient and outpatient substance abuse rehabilitation services, emergency mental healthcare services, prescription drugs for mental health conditions, participation in psychiatric disease management programs, and community-based mental healthcare services.

Publication Citation

38 Am. J.L. & Med. 471 (2012).