The US political system is debating the desirability and feasibility of health care reform. Discussions focus on expanding coverage while reforming delivery to contain costs and ensure quality,1 but there has been little discussion about how to apply reform principles to mental health and substance abuse (MHSA) conditions and services. The passage of federal parity bills for private plans and outpatient Medicare services2 underscores the policy interest in ensuring financial access and the timeliness of considering application of reform principles to these services. This Commentary highlights features of MHSA conditions and services that affect consideration of reform principles.
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