- Capitol Hill Briefing, Washington, D.C., November 2010
- Health Policy Forum, June 2009
- Nevada Training, June 2009
- Congressional Hill Briefing Washington, DC., March 2009
Event, November 2010: Capitol Hill Briefing, Washington, D.C.
The Honorable Doris Matsui (CA), joined health experts representing key sectors of our nation’s health care system – Medicaid, health insurers and providers – at a Capitol Hill Briefing that focused on the impact of health care reform and mental health parity on adolescent mental health care. Download the forum report.
Health experts representing key sectors of our nation’s health care system – Medicaid, health insurers and providers – told a Capitol Hill forum that health care reform and mental health parity are expected to improve adolescent mental health care and reduce the stigma of mental illness among youth by removing significant barriers to diagnosis and treatment. The forum, titled “Parity, Prevention and Health Care Reform: Meeting the Challenge through Adolescent Mental Health Checkups,” was convened on Nov. 16 by the TeenScreen National Center for Mental Health Checkups at Columbia University with a keynote address from the Honorable Doris Matsui (pictured above) of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Welcomed by TeenScreen Executive Director Laurie Flynn, the panelists noted that through health care reform (the Affordable Care Act or ACA), adolescents will receive routine screening for mental illness, and that mental health parity provides increased access to mental health services by requiring that mental health coverage be on par with physical health coverage. Additionally, the new laws include provisions for increased integration between primary care and mental health providers – new collaborative models that are expected to improve the efficiencies and efficacy of care. When most health plans began their new enrollment year on Jan. 1, 2011, many included new changes to comply with ACA and parity.
The forum was moderated by Bruce Lesley, president of First Focus, and featured the following speakers:
- Richard G. Frank, Ph.D., deputy assistant secretary for planning and evaluation for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
- Kelly J. Kelleher, M.D., M.P.H., professor of pediatrics, public health and psychiatry at The Ohio State University College of Medicine, and a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Task Force on Mental Health
- Mason Turner, M.D., assistant director of regional mental health and chemical dependency services at The Permanente Medical Group, Inc., chief of the Department of Psychiatry at the Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Medical Center, and assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco and Emily Sherwood, director of the Children’s Behavioral Health Inter-Agency Initiative in the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services, who spoke about steps taken in Massachusetts to expand statewide access to annual adolescent mental health screens and follow-up services for youth enrolled in Medicaid.
Event: June 2009, Health Policy Forum
National Health Experts Convene at NY Policy Forum to Advance Adolescent Mental Health Screening in Primary Care
On June 4, 2009, national health experts met in New York to discuss recent back-to-back recommendations from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) for all teens to receive a mental health screen as part of routine medical care. The national experts were convened by the TeenScreen National Center for Mental Health Checkups at Columbia University
- Read the Event Roundup to learn more about the forum and the speakers.
- View the Recommendations to Realization Health Policy Forum Video to listen to national speakers’ forum comments.
- View photos taken of the event and speakers.
- Read the Recommendations to Realization Health Policy Forum Report for a written account of the forum.
- Read the Adolescent Mental Health Checkups and Health Care Reform White Paper to learn more about policy recommendations in support of mental health checkups in primary care.
- Read the June 4 Forum Press Release for a brief synopsis of the event.
At the event, Rosemary Chalk, Board director at the IOM, and Dr. Thomas DeWitt, methodology chair with the USPSTF, explained their agencies’ recommendations and the research behind their conclusions.
Dr. John Genrich, a pediatrician from Colorado Springs, began the second panel by speaking about his real-life experience in integrating mental health checkups into his adolescent visits. He was joined by leaders in managed care who shared lessons they have learned about the practical implementation of screening programs throughout their networks. Dr. Rick Spurlock from Kaiser Permanente Southern Colorado, Karen Smith-Hagman, R.N., M.S.N., from EmblemHealth, and Dr. Christopher Dennis from behavioral health provider ValueOptions, discussed the importance of having appropriate systems of referral and reimbursement in place to help facilitate screening.
Dr. Lloyd Sederer from the New York State Office of Mental Health, Darcy Gruttadaro, J.D., of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and Catherine Finley of Capitol Counsel in Washington, D.C., closed the program with thoughts on how policy change and health care reform can help to positively shape adolescent mental health care.
The gathering was the Inaugural Eric Trendell Health Policy Forum, named for Eric Trendell, a college student who died by suicide in 2002.
Nevada Continuing Medical Education Training, June 2009
On June 30, 2009, the TeenScreen National Center for Mental Health Checkups at Columbia University held a Continuing Medical Education training event in Genoa, Nev., bringing together Northern Nevada pediatric primary care providers to educate them about mental health checkups for adolescent patients. The training titled, “Incorporating Mental Health Checkups into Adolescent Visits” was sponsored by Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Nevada Office of Suicide Prevention, Douglas County Suicide Prevention Network, Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center, and the TeenScreen National Center.
Senator Reid expressed his support for mental health checkups and value of early identification of mental illness in adolescents in his opening remarks for the event.
The purpose of the training was to educate health care providers about how to:
- Address the problems of mental illness and suicide in adolescents through a simple screening procedure.
- Accurately triage patients with positive screening results.
- Obtain skills in assessment of adolescent patients for psychiatric disorders.
The training began with a video welcome message from Senator Harry Reid, followed by opening remarks made by Susan Lisagor, regional representative from the Senator’s office, Debbie Posnien from the Douglas County Suicide Prevention Network and Misty Vaughn Allen from the Nevada Office of Suicide Prevention.
They were followed by speakers:
- Leslie McGuire, TeenScreen National Center’s deputy executive director, who discussed the problems of unidentified mental illness and suicide in adolescents and provided an overview of TeenScreen Primary Care.
- Christina Carro, a program coordinator from the TeenScreen National Center, who discussed the implementation of mental health checkups in a primary care setting.
- Barbara Ludwig, RN, Med, of the Clark County Children’s Mental Health Consortium, who spoke about the logistics of screening.
- Dr. James McGhee, a pediatrician from Henderson, Nevada, who offers mental health checkups as a regular part of his medical practice and talked about how screening improves the identification of mental illness in his patients.
- Dr. Lisa Durette the medical director from Spring Mountain Treatment Center, who discussed assessing and managing mental illness in primary care settings.
- View the Media Advisory for this event.
Event, March 2009: Congressional Hill Briefing Washington, DC.
Pediatricians, Mother of the Late Garrett Lee Smith Brief Congress On Mental Health Checkups
On Thursday, March 19, leaders in the mental health community and in adolescent primary care came together for a Capitol Hill briefing themed: Making Mental Health Checkups a Primary Care. The briefing helped to educate Congressional staff on the importance of mental health checkups for youth as a routine part of primary health care. It was hosted by the TeenScreen National Center for Mental Health Checkups at Columbia University and its CheckUpNow Coalition partners: The Jed Foundation, Active Minds, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), Families USA, Mental Health America, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and The Suicide Prevention Action Network USA (SPAN USA).
The briefing was led by the TeenScreen National Center’s executive director, Laurie Flynn, and featured Sharon Smith as keynote speaker. Smith, along with her husband former Senator Gordon Smith (R-OR), have long supported legislation for youth mental health checkups and were integral in passing the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act for suicide prevention in memory of their son. The panel of speakers also included Dr. John Genrich, a pediatrician from Colorado Springs, who offers mental health checkups as part of his regular medical practice, Dr. Jacqueline Grupp-Phelan from the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital who is evaluating usage of such checkups in Cincinnati’s busy emergency department, and Dr. James McGhee, also a pediatrician, of Henderson, Nevada, who is screening adolescents in his office. These physicians spoke about their individual experiences in offering mental health checkups to adolescents and how this practice improves early identification of mental illness and could result in increased cost-effectiveness in health care settings.