The June 2016 issue of the journal Health Affairs, supported by a grant from the California Health Care Foundation, explores the challenges facing those trying to integrate behavioral and physical health care to improve treatment of the whole patient. As shown in this special themed issue, behavioral health care is a broad subject touching on access to mental health practitioners, substance use disorders, racial and ethnic disparities, parity laws, the criminal justice system, health insurance benefits, quality measurement, and many other topics.
Of the 29 articles in the subscription-based Health Affairs website, CHCF has chosen six for which to provide free access because they examine issues especially relevant to California:
“Federal Parity in the Evolving Mental Health and Addiction Care Landscape,” by Colleen L. Barry, Howard H. Goldman, and Haiden A. Huskamp, explains that while parity has become the law of the land, for all intents and purposes it has yet to reach certain groups. A subtle aspect of parity regulation is its requirement that parity be achieved in process, not outcome.