In November MPS signed on to the Legal Action Center’s (LAC) comment letter to CMS regarding improving Parity Act compliance in Medicaid. The letter addressed access barriers and encouraged enforcement the Parity Act in your Maryland Medicaid programs. Over the past year, the LAC has conducted detailed research on Parity Act compliance efforts by State Medicaid authorities nationwide, including examining state Medicaid managed care contract standards for parity compliance requirements and reviewing publicly available state parity compliance reports. They have also conducted interviews of interested providers and consumer stakeholders to determine key barriers to MH and SUD care in Medicaid, the scope of state Parity Act enforcement activities, and parity violations. The letter noted that that States were required to bring MCO, CHIP and alternative benefit plan (ABP) benefits into compliance under CMS’s March 2016 parity regulations, yet research highlights troublesome trends in reimbursement, network composition, utilization management and scope of service coverage that are based on practices that likely violate the Parity Act. The letter stated that Medicaid Parity Act regulations are not self-enforcing and state officials need far greater guidance and oversight by federal officials, which includes remedial actions and financial penalties, to ensure compliance. It went on to list several suggestions for changes and improvements to ensure compliance with the Parity Act. CLICK HERE to read the letter in its entirety.