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When I agreed to serve on the MPS Executive Committee, the biggest concern for me was how to manage what may be the single most important function of our organization—the vetting of new legislation and contributing to the dialogue on the development of mental health resources in our state. In support of my notion that if there is a God, he has a very ironic sense of humor, I have had the opportunity to serve as a leader of the MPS during the years that behavioral health integration and the Affordable Care Act are being rolled out.
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The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA, the Parity Act) ushered in a new era for health insurance coverage for mental health and substance use (mh/sud) disorders. The foundation for this was laid by the Mental Health Parity Act of 1996, and, significantly, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the ACA) that was passed in 2010 contains a number of provisions that expand the reach of the mental health parity requirements of MHPAEA through yet-to-be-established health plans .
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The 2010 legislative session was both exciting and very productive for the MPS. Together with Franklin Goldstein and its government relations team, Harris Jones & Malone, the MPS undertook the daunting task of tracking over 330 bills. The MPS testified on several of these bills, helping to shape key pieces of legislation. Additionally, we submitted written testimony and recommendations on a plethora of other bills. We fared very well overall.
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 A forum focused on mental health will be held Tuesday, October 5 from 9:30 am to 12:00pm at Martins West in Baltimore. Members interested in attending should contact the MPS at 410-625-0232 or mps@mdpsych.org.  
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The Kaiser Foundation website has a review about the latest Mental Health Parity Bill negotiations between the House and Senate.
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 From the April 7 2008 American Medical News: "The Florida Supreme Court ignored decades of peer review protections when it ruled March 6 to allow patients to examine records on past adverse medical incidents, physicians and hospital organizations say.
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Drs. Prescott and Crawford discussed the following bills at the March 11th Council meeting. The details are current as of March 19, 2008.
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