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How Alabama Psychiatric Services became latest casualty of evolving health care


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How Alabama Psychiatric Services became latest casualty of evolving health care

Alan Alexander

Birmingham Business Journal

Alabama Psychiatric Services will be closing its doors at the end of this week, laying off 300 employees and affecting 28,000 patients statewide.

The closure stems from failed negotiations between APS and the state's dominant health insurance provider, BlueCross and BlueShield of Alabama. It's a fallout caused by the rapidly changing health care industry, and experts say mental health benefits will continue to feel the impact.

Dr. Nicole Siegfried, a specialist on eating disorders and clinical director of Castlewood Treatment Center, say cuts by insurance providers to mental health benefits will become a trend across the psychiatric care industry.

"This has been an area of concern for eating disorders for a number of years," she said. "They have been blocked from being covered by certain plans and now we are seeing this for other mental disorders. This is of major concern because despite there being mental health parity laws that require coverage in the same ways as diseases like cancer or diabetes, it's really not happening. There have been continued cuts in insurance coverage that really are affecting mental health."

Siegfried said health insurance companies are concerned with the climate of the changing health care industry caused by the Affordable Care Act and other federal regulations.

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Edited by MDM4AU
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Domino number 1. Other specialty type health services may follow suit as the ACA continues to be implemented. My opinion....no link needed. ;)/>

Edited by autigeremt
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