December 13, 2021
In April 2020, state regulators announced they would begin conducting investigations of all full-service commercial health plans to assess barriers and challenges providers experience in providing behavioral health services. The investigations are also seeking to identify systemic changes that could be made to improve the delivery of behavioral health care.
The California Medical Association (CMA) has also heard reports of some physicians having challenges referring their patients for mental health services and also about some patients experiencing delays when attempting to access those mental health services in a timely manner.
Both state and federal law require health plans to provide treatment for mental health and substance use disorder conditions. Additionally, plans are required to meet certain timely access to care requirements for physical and mental health services.
If your primary care, pediatric or ob-gyn practice is experiencing issues referring out to behavioral health providers or your patients are having trouble with accessing behavioral health services in a timely manner, CMA is interested in hearing from you. Information shared with CMA will help us understand what physicians are experiencing so we can better advocate on your behalf.
To share your experience referring patients for behavioral health services, contact CMA at firstname.lastname@example.org or (916) 551-2061.