Short-Term Analysis to Support Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Implementation. Expert Panel


On March 3, 2011, SAMHSA convened a panel of experts to provide substantive and technical input on issues related to the use of NQTLs. The Expert Panel members represented a broad range of knowledge and expertise including clinical expertise in MH/SUD treatment, experience in developing evidence-based practice guidelines, and experience use of NQTLs in their practice. In attendance at the meeting were the Expert Panelists, the moderators (Howard Goldman and Audrey Burnam), and SAMHSA, ASPE, and National Institute of Mental Health staff. In addition, a number of federal agency staff participated in all or parts of the meeting (see Appendix 1). RAND provided a background paper for panelists that included some of the observations made by industry representatives.

Over the course of the meeting, we first solicited feedback from the panelists about how to evaluate parity in medical necessity definitions and processes for establishing specific clinical guidelines and criteria. We then asked the panelists to discuss parity in UM practices. Finally, the panelists weighed in on parity in processes used in provider network management. That discussion is summarized in bullet points below:

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