Malloy says collaboration will help families access mental health treatment

HEALTHGov. Dannel P. Malloy announced that a new collaboration between the Connecticut Insurance Department and the UConn Health Center will help families struggling to get mental health treatment paid through their insurance.

“No one should have to overcome mountains of red tape when they are trying to access mental health services,” said Mr. Malloy. “This collaboration allows us to leverage the respective expertise of the Insurance Department and the UConn Health Center to put in place a common-sense approach to what can be a profoundly frustrating process. I commend the Insurance Department and the Health Center for their commitment to improving mental health care access for residents.”

The Insurance Department and UConn Health Center are developing a user-friendly “claims tool kit” for policyholders and providers, especially out-of-network providers who operate on cash basis. The goal is to reduce the number of insurance denials by creating a plain-language claims template specific to behavioral health treatment that policyholders and practitioners can submit to insurance companies for reimbursement. It is intended to help them quickly and accurately prepare claims submissions to reflect medical necessity and increase the number of claims approved on initial submissions.

“It’s been the department’s observations that incomplete or incorrect information, coding errors, and other documentation issues are often the cause of claims denials requiring multiple appeals. We don’t want families having to fight to get the care they need,” said Deputy Insurance Commissioner Anne Melissa Dowling, who oversees the Department’s health insurance initiatives.

Scheduled for completion this summer, the claims tool kit is the first in a series of behavioral health projects the Insurance Department and Health Center are undertaking to assist consumers and providers. Work also includes enhancements to education and outreach materials for mental health insurance coverage.

“We are delighted to work with the Insurance Department on this important initiative and to share our world-class psychiatric and clinical expertise,” said Dr. Frank M. Torti, UConn Health Center Executive Vice President for Health Affairs and Dean of the Medical School. “This project has the potential to improve the quality of life for so many of our families and especially the children.”

About 1.8 million Connecticut residents—roughly half of Connecticut’s population—have private or employer insurance plans.

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