Mandate Technology in Mental Health Treatment + Insurance Coverage for Long Term Care

Mandate Technology in Mental Health Treatment + Insurance Coverage for Long Term Care

0 have signed. Let’s get to 35,000!
At 35,000 signatures, this petition becomes one of the top signed on Change.org!
Lima Jevremovic started this petition to President Donald J. Trump and

Growing up my father was horrifically abusive to my mother, my sisters and I. My mother managed to escape in the middle of a cold night with one carry-on suitcase and four plane tickets when I was 5 years of age and my sisters were 3 years old. Thinking that all of the horrors were behind us, my sisters had no memories of the traumas and my mother worked hard to give us everything. Four years ago, my sisters began having symptoms of Complex PTSD derived from on-going, pre-verbal childhood trauma. Due to the mental health stigma, they did not tell my mother or I, but they did seek professional help. I now call this the "mental healthcare loop", because as soon as they sought professional help, the doctors had no tools to treat them; they just asked "how are you feeling?", diagnosed and medicated them. They have been stuck in a cycle of addiction, overdose and relapse ever since without treating the actual mental illness--costing insurance companies and my family hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills.

My sisters were misdiagnosed for 3.5 years, they have since developed an addiction to a dangerous cocktail of prescription medication and have relapsed from over 60 treatment centers because insurers will only cover 35-45 days of treatment without door-to-door care. My sisters were successful actresses and have been completely debilitated by their mental illness, unable to work or function in day-to-day life. 

My family is not alone in this cycle. As it currently stands, quality mental health treatment is a privilege many people cannot afford. The treatment that is available is short-term with low success rates, riddled with misdiagnosis and inaccuracies. Due to a lack of tools and technology available to mental healthcare professionals (who currently rely 100% on self-reporting to treat mental illness resulting in human error) and insurance companies limiting patient access to care due to the high costs and low success rates of mental illness and addiction treatment (making it difficult for mental health professionals to accept insurance), after spending hundreds of thousands of dollars out-of-pocket over 4 years to cover their mental health treatment, all my family has to show is a large financial debt, conflicting diagnoses and an addiction in addition to the mental illness. Not having long term door-to-door care, tools for health detection and progress tracking to measure patient improvement and mitigate dependence of self-reporting has ultimately left our family devastated and helpless as we watch my sisters' lives and health disintegrate.    

In the midst of a suicide epidemic, opioid epidemic and global mental health crisis, now more than ever we need to stand together to encourage and guide change and innovation in mental healthcare. There is a 90% relapse rate after the 1 month short-term residential care covered by insurers (1). Suicides and overdoses among young adults were already skyrocketing before the pandemic, but now the Covid-19 quarantine mandates are causing a historic rise in mental health problems and pushing America into a mental health crisis with a spike in suicides, relapse and drug overdose (2). Adding to this are the dangers of mental health misdiagnosis and high rates of inaccuracy in the treatment of mental health ailments.

CALL TO ACTION FOR INSURANCE COMPANIES: Insurance companies have a very taxing responsibility to provide access to care and financial protection against medical costs. Due to the lack of quantifiable metrics to measure patient progress in mental healthcare treatment, insurance costs are high and endless. We need to join forces with our nation's insurance companies to help them protect us and lead innovation in mental healthcare by deploying new regulations that mandate mental healthcare treatment centers and private practice professionals to deploy the following measures into mental health treatment in order to qualify for mental health insurance coverage:

  1. Prevent Misdiagnosis: Leverage health detection technology to guide mental illness diagnostics
  2. Track Patient Progress: Utilize tools in therapy to measure and record patient response to treatment
  3. Long Term Care Coverage: Insurers push incentive for change by covering a minimum of one year of door-to-door care for mental healthcare treatment providers that have the above tools in place

We urge the leaders in our healthcare system to take the first steps and lead the way in transforming the mental healthcare industry: UnitedHealth, Cigna Health, Aetna, Kaiser Foundation, Anthem Inc., Humana, CVS, Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC), Centene Corp, Wellcare, Molina Healthcare Inc., Blue Cross of California, and Blue Cross Blue Shield. 

CALL TO ACTION FOR THE US FEDERAL GOVERNMENT: We propose a New Administration Policy to support Insurance Companies and encouraging these organizations to abide by Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) by mandating mental healthcare treatment centers and private practice professionals must deploy the following measures into mental health treatment in order to qualify for mental health insurance coverage:

  1. Prevent Misdiagnosis: Leverage health detection technology to guide mental illness diagnostics
  2. Track Patient Progress: Utilize tools in therapy to measure and record patient response to treatment
  3. Long Term Care Coverage: Insurers must cover a minimum of one year of door-to-door care for mental healthcare treatment providers that deploy the above tools

Despite congress passing the MHPAEA in 2008, insurers still don’t treat mental illness like physical illness. Under MHPAEA, insurance companies are required to apply the same criteria in determining coverage for physical and mental illnesses. However, this law is not being enforced. In a 2014 National Alliance on Mental Illness survey, greater than 50% more respondents said that they or a family member had been denied treatment for mental health by their insurer on medical necessity grounds than those who said they’d been denied medical care for physical ailments. Passing a new Administrative Policy that helps give transparency to insurance companies allows them to hold mental healthcare providers accountable and will give insurers incentive to act within MHPAEA because it will allow patients to heal, saving insurers billions of dollars in medical expenses long term.

Doctors have long stressed that similar to any physical illness, mental illness can lead to harmful consequences. When left untreated, mental illness can aggravate physical conditions, resulting in even more expensive treatment needs which end up costing insurers more money long term. In addition, the high rates of relapse and re-hospitalization--and all of the additional costs that accompany mental illness--have insurers searching for ways to cut costs by erecting barriers to treatment for common mental illnesses (neglecting legal requirements) and setting low reimbursement rates for mental health professionals. We need to help insurance companies and our governments place new regulations on treatment centers to prevent these counterproductive activities from continuing to take place. Let's stand by insurers and support them in keeping costs down, by expanding coverage for mental health services as mandated under MHPAEA so long as these mental health services leverage technology to measure and report how treatment is working. 

Keep in mind, our government and health insurance companies exist to protect us. We stand together to support new innovations in this industry; to help the insurers protect patients, to grant medical professionals access to tools for precise care and to help patients suffering from mental health ailments recover and learn to manage their mental illnesses. Please sign this petition to join our team in the mental healthcare revolution!

-Lima Jevremovic

0 have signed. Let’s get to 35,000!
At 35,000 signatures, this petition becomes one of the top signed on Change.org!