Leveling the Barriers

A Medicare bill which became effective last week creates a five year phase-in plan to bring mental health co-payments into line with other Medicare co-pay requirements. While we continue to wait for the Mental Health Parity legislation to clear, the Medicare initiative represents an important step to treating mental health conditions on an equal footing with other medical problems. Research studies point out that out-of-pocket costs are the greatest deterrent to a person seeking treatment. As Medicare recipients represent our older and disabled citizens, the easing of the co-pay burden may encourage people to seek earlier treatment for mental health problems.

Medicare's move is a big step forward.

About Rolf Gainer Ph.D.

Dr. Rolf Gainer is the founder of the Neurologic Rehabilitation Institute at Brookhaven Hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma as well as the Neurological Rehabilitation Institute of Ontario, in Toronto, Canada. Dr. Gainer is a psychologist with more than twenty-five years of experience in the treatment and rehabilitation of individuals with brain injuries and a dual diagnosis. Dr. Gainer has designed and operated innovative rehabilitation programs in the United States and Canada for individuals who have been regarded as difficult to serve. He is currently involved in conducting two outcome studies related to the long-term issues faced by individuals with brain injuries and a dual diagnosis. He has presented papers throughout the United States and Canada in many professional conferences and educational forums.
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