Legislative Action Center

Respond to the National Academies' Survey on Mental Health
Action Alert
The Committee on Strategies to Improve Access to Behavioral Health Care Services through Medicare and Medicaid at the National Academies, has launched a survey to explore, “the current challenges accessing behavioral health care services due to limited behavioral health practitioner participation in Medicare, Medicaid, and Marketplace insurance programs.” 

They are seeking input from a wide range of providers. The committee will use this input, and information from public listening sessions, to develop a report with recommendations to policymakers for short-term and long-term strategies to increase behavioral health workforce participation in these programs. The National Academies is highly regarded by Congress and the Executive branch, and their reports are often the basis for significant policy action.

Currently, occupational therapy (OT) is not a provider type listed on the survey, but there is an option for “other.” It is crucial that occupational therapy practitioners provide feedback, so that the need to remove barriers to occupational therapy services in mental health is reflected in the final report.

The final report will explore: 

  • Factors that incentivize or disincentivize behavioral health care provider participation in Medicare, Medicaid, and Marketplace programs, with special attention to provider type,” including: 
    • Perceptions and experiences among behavioral health care professionals about the challenges that impede participation;
    • Administrative process and policies that produce perceived or experienced burden” in participation in these programs; and
    • Infrastructure requirements (e.g., electronic health records, participation in third-party billing systems, capacity to contract with managed care, etc.).
  • Barriers and potential facilitators and innovative strategies that could encourage behavioral health practitioners to work with Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, including those with complex social, economic, and environmental needs. 


Click this button to access the survey


Please provide feedback, based on your experience, as it relates to these key categories. AOTA is not providing a template as we understand that the committee would prefer not to receive form letters. It is also important that the feedback be reflective of the varied experiences of OT practitioners proving services to those with mental health or substance use disorders.

Early next year the committee will hold public listening sessions. AOTA will share information about these opportunities as we receive that information.

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