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News Release

2020 Annual Meeting

March 16-18, 2020

Mandarin Oriental Washington, DC

We invite you to use this annual opportunity to learn from, connect with, and influence the decision makers who determine the future of behavioral healthcare services in the United States.

The 2020 Annual Meeting will feature sessions on a variety of issues affecting the U.S. behavioral healthcare industry, with a special emphasis on the barriers to providing and access care.

Learn more and register for the 2020 Annual Meeting

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Shawn Coughlin Named Next NABH President and CEO

Association’s Executive VP Succeeds Retiring NABH President and CEO Mark Covall

WASHINGTON, Oct. 2, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — The National Association for Behavioral Healthcare (NABH) Board of Trustees has appointed Shawn Coughlin as its president and CEO beginning in January 2020.

Coughlin succeeds Mark Covall, who is retiring after more than 35 years with the association and 24 years as its president and CEO. The Board announced the succession plan in conjunction with its Fall Board Meeting in Washington…

Read more at PR Newswire

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NABH Releases The High Cost of Compliance: Assessing the Regulatory Burden on Inpatient Psychiatric Facilities

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:

Jessica Zigmond

202.393.6700, ext. 101

Jessica@nabh.org

NABH Examines the High Cost of Compliance on Inpatient Psychiatric Facilities

WASHINGTON, DC (March 19, 2019) — The National Association for Behavioral Healthcare (NABH) on Tuesday released The High Cost of Compliance: Assessing the Regulatory Burden on Inpatient Psychiatric Facilities, a comprehensive report that examines the burdens that certain regulations impose on the nation’s inpatient psychiatric facilities.

NABH commissioned Manatt Health to conduct this first-of-its-kind study that focuses on three federal regulatory domains attached to participation in the Medicare program: the so-called “B-tag” requirements, a detailed set of standards for patient evaluations, medical records, and staffing in inpatient psychiatric facilities; “ligature risk points,” or those aspects of the physical environment that a patient could use to attempt self-strangulation; and the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA), which obligates a hospital to screen all patients for emergency medical conditions, and, if an emergency condition is identified, to stabilize the patient before the patient may be discharged or transferred.

“Members of NABH’s Regulatory Overload Task Force worked closely with Manatt’s researchers on this study, which surveyed 62 inpatient psychiatric facilities,” said NABH Board Chair Pat Hammer, president and CEO of Oconomowoc, Wis.-based Rogers Behavioral Health. “The findings estimate that, taken together, these three regulatory areas impose $1.7 billion in compliance costs nationwide—each year,” he added. “That means these regulatory burdens represent about 4.8 percent of an average facility’s annual revenue for all inpatient services from all sources.”

NABH recognizes that rules are intended to serve the important goals of patient safety and high-quality care. But some of these regulations are outdated, and many are applied inconsistently by surveyors in the field.

“Federal regulators have an opportunity to lift heavy compliance burdens from inpatient psychiatric facilities without harming patient care,” said Randi Seigel, a partner with Manatt Health.

The report notes that doing so could ultimately improve patient care.

“By removing low-value compliance burdens, the reforms outlined in this report would free up clinician time and financial resources that could be better spent improving patients’ access to high-quality psychiatric care,” said Fatema Zanzi, a partner with Manatt Health.

NABH released the report at its 2019 Annual Meeting, where the association also launched its Access to Care initiative. Follow us @NABHBehavioral and at #NABH19 for live updates from the meeting.

“This report emphasizes what our members have been saying for too long: regulatory overload takes time away from patient care,” said Mark Covall, NABH’s president and CEO. “As our nation works to address its deadly opioid and suicide crises, we need our behavioral healthcare providers to focus on what they do best: provide mental health and substance use disorder patients with the right care, in the right setting, at the right time.”

Please visit www.nabh.org to read the full report and to see NABH’s other Access to Care resources, including the association’s Access to Care resolution and brief video.

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About NABH

The National Association for Behavioral Healthcare (NABH) advocates for behavioral healthcare and represents provider systems that are committed to delivering responsive, accountable, and clinically effective prevention, treatment, and care for children, adolescents, adults, and older adults with mental and substance use disorders. Its members are behavioral healthcare provider organizations that own or manage more than 1,000 specialty psychiatric hospitals, general hospital psychiatric and addiction treatment units and behavioral healthcare divisions, residential treatment facilities, youth services organizations, and extensive outpatient networks. The association was founded in 1933.

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NABH Board Adopts Access to Care Resolution

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:

Jessica Zigmond

202.393.6700, ext. 101

Jessica@nabh.org

WASHINGTON, DC (March 18, 2019) — The National Association for Behavioral Healthcare (NABH) Board of Trustees on Monday approved a resolution that addresses unfair managed-care practices and recommends guiding principles for providers and payers to incorporate in contracts with managed care organizations (MCOs).

NABH’s provider systems are committed to ensuring patient access to behavioral healthcare treatment across the entire behavioral healthcare continuum, which includes inpatient, residential, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, outpatient, and recovery and support services. Too often, MCOs limit coverage to crisis stabilization or short-term, acute-care services for all levels of care because they use internally developed and/or proprietary and non-transparent, medical-necessity criteria.

“As our Access to Care resolution states, ‘Fair and appropriate coverage for behavioral healthcare services must ensure—not solely offer—access to the entire behavioral healthcare continuum,” said NABH Board Chair Pat Hammer, president and CEO of Oconomowoc, Wis.-based Rogers Behavioral Health. “For this to happen, fair and reasonable managed care contracts must include and apply generally accepted standards of professional practice.”

Articulated in clinical research and clinical specialty organization consensus statements, these generally accepted standards of care recognize that behavioral healthcare treatment is intended to:

  • Prevent, diagnose, and/or treat behavioral health conditions;
  • Promote age-appropriate growth and development;
  • Minimize the progression of disability;
  • Facilitate, maintain, and/or restore functional capacity; and
  • Support long-term recovery.

NABH created a Managed Care Committee last fall to identify problems and propose solutions in managed care contracts. The Board of Trustees adopted the Managed Care Committee’s resolution at its Board meeting in Washington, D.C. on the first day of the association’s 2019 Annual Meeting.

“We hope this resolution and the guiding principles in it will help our members as they work with MCOs to develop contracts that are patient-centered,” said Mark Covall, NABH’s president and CEO. “This resolution is also significant because it is a major piece of our new Access to Care initiative that we’re launching today. Through this initiative, we will provide information and resources to help inform policymakers, regulators, payers, and patient advocates that only true access to care can lead to recovery.

NABH’s Access to Care initiative focuses on two major challenges: unjust managed care contracts and countless regulations, both of which often prevent behavioral healthcare providers from offering patients a full range of services.

Please visit www.nabh.org to read the resolution, watch NABH’s Access to Care video, and learn more. And follow us @NABHBehavioral and at #NABH19 for live updates from the 2019 NABH Annual Meeting.

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About NABH

The National Association for Behavioral Healthcare (NABH) advocates for behavioral healthcare and represents provider systems that are committed to delivering responsive, accountable, and clinically effective prevention, treatment, and care for children, adolescents, adults, and older adults with mental and substance use disorders. Its members are behavioral healthcare provider organizations that own or manage more than 1,000 specialty psychiatric hospitals, general hospital psychiatric and addiction treatment units and behavioral healthcare divisions, residential treatment facilities, youth services organizations, and extensive outpatient networks. The association was founded in 1933.

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NABH Applauds Landmark Behavioral Healthcare Coverage Ruling

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:

Jessica Zigmond

202.393.6700, ext. 101

jessica@nabh.org

 

NABH Applauds Landmark Behavioral Healthcare Coverage Ruling

WASHINGTON, DC (March 5, 2019)— The National Association for Behavioral Healthcare (NABH) applauds the decision filed in California’s Northern District that opens access to behavioral healthcare services for those who need it.

“It has been 10 years since President George W. Bush signed the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, and we have yet to achieve full parity,” said Mark Covall, NABH’s president and CEO. “Today’s decision in California’s Northern District is a turning point. The federal court’s ruling made it clear that insurance companies must use generally accepted standards in the full behavioral healthcare continuum to help patients gain access to the care they need for recovery.”

In a nationwide class action lawsuit, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on Tuesday held that United Behavioral Health (UBH) — the country’s largest managed behavioral healthcare organization — developed restrictive medical-necessity criteria that it used to deny coverage for outpatient, intensive outpatient, and residential treatment services.

According to the decision, the Court found that UBH’s internal guidelines limited coverage to acute care services, disregarding highly prevalent, chronic, and co-occurring disorders that required greater intensity and/or duration.

The Court also found that UBH failed to meet a requirement related to children and adolescents, asserting that although generally accepted standards of care do not require UBH to “create an entirely separate set of guidelines to address the needs of children and adolescents… they do, however, require that UBH’s guidelines instruct decision-makers to apply different standards when making coverage decisions involving children and adolescents, where applicable, including relaxing the criteria for admission and continued stay to take into account their stage of development and the slower pace at which children and adolescents generally respond to treatment.”

NABH is especially pleased to see the Court acknowledge that mental health and substance use disorders are chronic illnesses, and that managed care organizations must cover care that not only stabilizes the acute aspects of a patient’s illness, but also addresses a patient’s underlying condition.

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About NABH

The National Association for Behavioral Healthcare (NABH) advocates for behavioral healthcare and represents provider systems that are committed to delivering responsive, accountable, and clinically effective prevention, treatment, and care for children, adolescents, adults, and older adults with mental and substance use disorders. Its members are behavioral healthcare provider organizations that own or manage more than 1,000 specialty psychiatric hospitals, general hospital psychiatric and addiction treatment units and behavioral healthcare divisions, residential treatment facilities, youth services organizations, and extensive outpatient networks. The association was founded in 1933.

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NABH Applauds Congress for Reaching Agreement on Opioid-Response Package

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Jessica Zigmond

202.393.6700, ext. 101

jessica@nabh.org

 

NABH Applauds Congress for Reaching Agreement on Opioid-Response Package

WASHINGTON, DC (September 26, 2018) — On behalf of more than 1,000 mental health hospitals and addiction treatment centers, the National Association for Behavioral Healthcare thanks Congress for reaching an agreement to address America’s deadly opioid crisis.

The final package includes many NABH-supported measures and contains the first substantive change to the Medicaid program’s burdensome Institutions for Mental Diseases (IMD) exclusion since the early 1970s.

“NABH thanks House Energy and Commerce Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) for his strong leadership in the House, which helped ensure that his colleagues paid close attention to the IMD exclusion, an antiquated regulation that has denied access to inpatient treatment for those who need it,” said NABH President and CEO Mark Covall. “We also thank Reps. Mimi Walters (R-Calif.) and Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.) and Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.) for their tireless efforts to understand the IMD exclusion—and do all they can to repeal this provision and remove access barriers to behavioral healthcare services for millions of Americans.”

NABH is also pleased with several other provisions in the final package and urges lawmakers to pass this legislation as soon as possible. Lives depend on it.

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About NABH

The National Association for Behavioral Healthcare (NABH) advocates for behavioral healthcare and represents provider systems that are committed to the delivery of responsive, accountable, and clinically effective prevention, treatment, and care for children, adolescents, adults, and older adults with mental and substance use disorders. Its members are behavioral healthcare provider organizations that own or manage more than 1,000 specialty psychiatric hospitals, general hospital psychiatric and addiction treatment units and behavioral healthcare divisions, residential treatment facilities, youth services organizations, and extensive outpatient networks. The association was founded in 1933.

 

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NABH Maps Out Pathways to a Better Addiction Treatment System

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Jessica Zigmond
202.393.6700, ext. 101
jessica@nabh.org

WASHINGTON, DC (August 9, 2018)— The National Association for Behavioral Healthcare (NABH) today released Pathways to Care: Treating Opioid and Substance Use Disorders, a white paper that offers practical and applicable approaches to fixing America’s frayed substance use disorder treatment delivery system.

In 2016, more than 20 million individuals in the United States had a substance use disorder (SUD), and 89 percent of individuals who needed treatment did not receive it. This is known as the treatment gap, and it exists for individuals with all types of SUDs, including opioid use disorder. The treatment gap is literally killing us and reducing life expectancy in the United States.

The current system is characterized by limited integration between specialty addiction care and the general medical community; low use of evidence-based practices; poorly organized services that often confuse the public; limited, inconsistent, and unpredictable financing; and insufficient workforce capacity to meet consumer demand.

The good news is the United States has highly skilled clinicians and first-rate health systems and programs to treat people with SUDs. Now we need to improve access to those providers and services.

“As we build a better system to address the opioid crisis, we must look to strengthen and sustain the entire system of care,” Sarah A. Wattenberg, director of quality and addiction services at NABH, writes in Pathways to Care. “Only then will we realize our full potential—and save lives in the process.”

Wattenberg’s paper is a landscape review that presents information about unhealthy substance use and how the delivery system often fails to connect people to treatment; provide the correct evidence-based services; monitor patient recovery during and after treatment; and re-engage patients whose symptoms recur.

Along with the paper, NABH released a Pathways to Care provider checklist, an infographic that identifies key Pathways milestones, and shareable graphics to post on Twitter and LinkedIn. To access these materials, please visit www.nabh.org/pathways. Also be sure to follow us on Twitter (@NABHbehavioral), LinkedIn, and YouTube.

To schedule interviews with Sarah A. Wattenberg, please contact Jessica Zigmond using the contact information at the top of this news release.

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About NABH

The National Association for Behavioral Healthcare (NABH) advocates for behavioral healthcare and represents provider systems that are committed to delivering responsive, accountable, and clinically effective prevention, treatment, and care for children, adolescents, adults, and older adults with mental and substance use disorders. Its members are behavioral healthcare provider organizations that own or manage more than 1,000 specialty psychiatric hospitals, general hospital psychiatric and addiction treatment units and behavioral healthcare divisions, residential treatment facilities, youth services organizations, and extensive outpatient networks. The association was founded in 1933.

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NABH Sends FY 2019 IPF-PPS Proposed Rule Comments to CMS

NABH has sent comments to CMS about the agency’s proposed FY 2019 rule for inpatient psychiatric facilities.

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We are the National Association for Behavioral Healthcare

 

 

CONTACT:      Jessica Zigmond                                                           FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

                        202.393.6700, ext. 101

                        jessica@nabh.org

 

NAPHS Becomes National Association for Behavioral Healthcare

 

WASHINGTON, DC (March 19, 2018) —The Board of Trustees of the former National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems (NAPHS) announced the association has changed its name to the National Association for Behavioral Healthcare (NABH), effective Monday, March 19, 2018.

 

“Today, our country’s behavioral healthcare challenges seem greater than ever,” said NABH President/CEO Mark Covall.

 

“The opioid crisis, high rate of suicide, and spate of mass shootings remind us every day why our members are critical players in America’s healthcare continuum,” he continued.  “Our nation’s behavioral health needs are as complex as they are numerous. That’s why we decided our association’s name should better reflect all our members and the comprehensive range of services they provide.”

 

 

Last fall, the Board agreed the new association name should:

  • Reflect the association’s Mission to advocate for behavioral healthcare and represent the providers who deliver care to those with mental health and substance use disorders;
  • Reflect the association’s Vision of a society where behavioral healthcare is recognized, respected, and allocated resources with fairness and equity as part of overall health;
  • Represent the association’s diverse membership; and
  • Invite other organizations to join the association.

“For 85 years, our association’s members have cared for those with mental health and substance use disorders, and always looked ahead to new treatments, programs and services,” said NABH Board Chair Brent Turner. “Our Board understood that our new name should build on our association’s excellent and longstanding work—and, more important, position the association for the future.”

 

Also Monday, the Board introduced NABH’s social media channels on Twitter (@NABHbehavioral), LinkedIn and YouTube.  The announcements came on the first day of the 2018 NABH Annual Meeting (#NABH18), which will take place at the Mandarin Oriental Washington, DC through Wednesday.  Guest speakers at the meeting include Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use Elinore McCance-Katz, M.D., Ph.D., former NFL player and behavioral healthcare advocate Ryan Leaf, former U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy, Sen. Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-La.), Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.), and Rep. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.)

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About NABH

The National Association for Behavioral Healthcare (NABH) advocates for behavioral healthcare and represents provider systems that are committed to the delivery of responsive, accountable, and clinically effective prevention, treatment, and care for children, adolescents, adults, and older adults with mental and substance use disorders. Its members are behavioral healthcare provider organizations that own or manage more than 1,000 specialty psychiatric hospitals, general hospital psychiatric and addiction treatment units and behavioral healthcare divisions, residential treatment facilities, youth services organizations, and extensive outpatient networks. The association was founded in 1933.

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NABH release: “Jessica Zigmond Joins NABH as Director of Communications”

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