The TREAT Act and Mental Health
More Access to Mental Health care has been proposed by way of re-introduction of the TREAT Act.
Recently, several entities and associations connected to the mental health professions in the United States wrote Congress in support of the re-introduction of the TREAT Act, to “increase access to health care services during the national COVID-19 public health emergency by allowing practitioners with valid licenses to provide services, including telehealth services, in all states for the duration of the public health emergency” (Mental Health Liaison Group, 2021). The TREAT or Temporary Reciprocity to Ensure Access to Treatment Act would temporarily permit health professionals to practice across state lines (MHLG, 2021).
Availability of Health Care
Supporters of the TREAT Act believe that the availability of health care, including mental health care services, would allow individuals in areas experiencing shortages to access care from across the country. The legislation would provide increased flexibility for providers, potentially raising the number of providers willing and able to work throughout the health emergency.
Increased Numbers Tell All
As part of the support for the passing of the TREAT Act, the Mental Health Liaison Group cites a Kaiser Family Foundation Tracking Poll from December 2020, stating that 51% of adults in the U.S. reported that “their mental health had been negatively impacted by worry and stress over COVID-19” (MHLG, 2021). Increases in alcohol consumption and substance abuse as well as troubles with eating and sleeping were reported in the poll (Lopes, 2020). More compelling is the fact that almost 52% of telehealth diagnoses in September 2020 were mental health-related (Gelbund, 2020).
The TREAT Act bill was re-introduced in the U.S. Senate in August 2020 and referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. You can track actions at: Congress.gov and search for S.4421 TREAT Act.
What Can You Do?
How can you better prepare yourself for telehealth services for those who need it? Take one of our many advanced courses today at EMDR Professional Training. We offer both live webinars and OnDemand courses for your convenience with several including sections on telehealth strategies.
Gelburd, R. (2020, December 1). Telehealth Claims Rise 2980% in One-Year Period Through September 2020. https://www.ajmc.com/view/telehealth-claim-lines-rise-2980-in-one-year-period-through-september-2020.
Lopes, L., Kearney, A., Kirzinger, A., Hamel, L., & Brodie, M. (2020, December 18). KFF Health Tracking Poll – December 2020: COVID-19 and Biden’s Health Care Agenda. https://www.kff.org/coronavirus-covid-19/report/kff-health-tracking-poll-december-2020/.
“TREAT Act MHLG Support Letter.” (2021). Mental Health Liaison Group. https://mk0emdrias99osg9utnb. kinstacdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/TREAT-Act-MHLG-Support-Letter-2.22.21-002.pdf