Access to Services

Receiving the proper services can greatly improve the lives of children with behavioral health challenges. However, accessing and paying for these services is often difficult for parents. The Children’s Mental Health Campaign is working to ensure that all children are able to receive the care they need, when they need it. 

Pediatric Psychiatric Boarding

The CMHC has received a grant from the C.F. Adams Charitable Trust with the goal of developing a better understanding of psychiatric "boarding," a problem facing children and adolescents with mental health disorders, their caregivers, health care providers, and hospitals across the Commonwealth.  

Read our most recent report on behavioral health urgent care for children, one solution to the issue of boarding. This report examines the needs of the children, adolescents, and families and the elements of urgent care required to design a pilot of services.

Mental Health Parity

State and federal parity laws require most health insurers to cover mental health and substance abuse treatment for children under the same terms and conditions as they cover other medical services. CMHC advocates to improve oversight and enforcement of these important laws. If you feel that your rights under the parity law have been violated, please contact Health Law Advocates.

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: S.2519 An Act addressing barriers to care for mental health, which passed in the Senate in February, 2020, includes several provisions strengthening current mental health parity laws by closing loopholes, increasing transparency, and providing consumers with tools to understand parity and to challenge violations. The bill is currently pending in the House. To see more reporting on the bill, check out our March 2020 Newsletter.

Mental Health Payment Reform

In 2012, the Massachusetts Legislature passed Chapter 224, a massive payment reform law to control health care cost growth through increased price transparency, adoption of alternative payment methods, investments in wellness and prevention, and an expanded primary care workforce. CMHC is working to ensure that Chapter 224 also strengthens the behavioral health system of care. This law created the Behavioral Health Integration Task Force to examine services provided for behavioral health, substance use disorder, and mental health treatment and reimbursement practices for these services.