President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act has continued to generate heated discussion, both pro and con. While many Americans focus on its role in providing health insurance for all, there are actually a number of reforms included in the law. What effect does it have on treatment for substance addiction and dual diagnosis?
The ACA has identified ten essential benefits that are now mandatory for all insurance plans. Treatment for mental health and substance addiction are both included on the list. This means that these illnesses are now being accorded the same importance as physical ailments.
It’s hoped that this can offer hope for the millions of individuals who had no access to treatment because of financial issues. This is of particular significance to those suffering from dual diagnosis, who have a substance abuse problem along with a mental disorder. Successful recovery requires treating both sides of the issue. Previously, though, many facilities didn’t provide addiction programs because they wouldn’t be reimbursed by the insurance companies.
Another potential benefit of the ACA’s mandate is that it may help remove the stigma associated with dual diagnosis and addiction. Placing them on the same level with physical illnesses makes it clear that this behavior is not a “choice” on the part of the individual and patients deserve equal treatment and consideration.
This change will also help medical providers become more proactive in diagnosing mental illness and substance addiction. Identifying an issue early on can result in successful treatment and prevention of more serious complications in the future. Increased costs of coverage could result in actual savings for the healthcare system down the road. There would be less need to treat the physical toll of addiction such as strokes and heart attacks.
Dual diagnosis treatment has always been a priority at Transitions Recovery. Our facility includes a substance abuse center along with full mental health services. We consider the needs of both your physical and mental recovery. Our caring, experienced staff is ready to answer your questions at 800-298-1783.