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URAC and Hayes, Inc. Present a Symposium on the Wellstone-Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act

Thursday, April 22, 2010 General News J E 4
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Two-Day Event to Outline the Impact of Regulations Prior to Implementation

WASHINGTON, April 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- URAC, the nation's leading healthcare accreditation and education organization, and Hayes, Inc., the nation's leading health technology research and consulting company, announce a two-day symposium "The Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act: Implications for All Stakeholders" to be held June 23-24, 2010 at the Pier 5 Hotel in Baltimore, MD. The act is intended to eliminate the differences in healthcare coverage between medical/surgical conditions and mental health and substance use disorders by mandating that group health plans not impose annual or lifetime dollar limits or access to care restrictions on mental health and addiction benefits that are less favorable than any such limits imposed on medical/surgical benefits.

(Logo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20030501/URACLOGO )

"Presenting a forum for stakeholders to discuss the impacts of these regulations reaffirms URAC's commitment and leadership in promoting quality healthcare through education," said Alan P. Spielman, President and CEO of URAC. "This symposium will address the direct impacts of the act and provide clarity and direction for how to move forward in this new environment of mental health coverage and care management."

The Wellstone-Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act: Implications for All Stakeholders symposium will showcase legal experts, researchers, and national speakers on mental health parity and convene multiple stakeholder groups ranging from providers of mental health services to consumers, employers and payers.

"This law, along with an expanded access to behavioral health benefits for a growing Medicaid population through the newly enacted Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, will have a profound impact on the care of those with behavioral health and substance use disorders, those who provide their care, those who manage or oversee this care, and those who fund these services," stated Dr. Winifred Hayes, CEO of Hayes, Inc. "This conference forum will provide an opportunity to anticipate the impact on all stakeholders and to discuss concerns, implications and, as applicable, management/response strategies that will help to control potential pitfalls and realize the healthcare goals of the law."

The regulations that guide implementation of this law were published on February 2, 2010, and will be effective for health plan years beginning on or after July 1, 2010. This conference will provide attendees with a forum to ask questions regarding implementation of the law and regulations, discuss their implications, and review research findings related to the implementation of similar laws at the state level and in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP). The conference will close with an invited panel of experts who have been asked to develop a framework for future monitoring of the impact of the law.

Click here to register and learn more about this event, or call (202) 216-9010.

About URAC

URAC, an independent, nonprofit organization is well known as a leader in promoting healthcare quality through its accreditation, education, and measurement programs. URAC offers a wide range of quality benchmarking programs and services that keep pace with the rapid changes in the healthcare system, and provide a symbol of excellence for organizations to validate their commitment to quality and accountability. Through its broad-based governance structure and an inclusive standards development process, URAC ensures that all stakeholders are represented in establishing meaningful quality measures for the entire healthcare industry. For more information, visit www.urac.org.

About Hayes, Inc.

Hayes, Inc. is an independent health technology research and consulting company dedicated to promoting better health outcomes through the use of evidence. Hayes performs unbiased, evidence-based healthcare technology assessments of the safety and efficacy of new, emerging, and controversial health technologies and evaluates the impact of these technologies on healthcare quality, utilization, and cost. Hayes' worldwide clients include hospitals, healthcare systems, government agencies, employers, and managed care organizations. For more information, please visit www.hayesinc.com.

SOURCE URAC

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