What They’re Watching: Matt Feehery

Matt Feehery is the Senior Vice President and CEO of the Memorial Hermann Prevention & Recovery Center. He joins us in this edition of “What They’re Watching” to talk about coverage for behavioral health.

In terms of what happened in the last legislative session, we had a victory in that the Texas Department of Insurance now has regulatory authority to oversee practices by insurers in our state. Now, it doesn’t cover every insurer because if the company happens to be self-insured they fall under more federal rules rather than the State TDI. In that, what it does it that there are various ways that benefits are monitored or handed out, so to speak.

And first thing in parity is that they need to match what the medical policy says. So, if the medical policy covers a certain way that treatment is reimbursed or paid for or authorized, they can’t have rules that are different for behavioral health. Beyond that, a lot of times there are treatment limitations, so there’s quantitative limitations that are given to treatment episodes. And what we hope parity will do is change some of the practices for the non-quantitative, or the qualitative aspects so that the issues about why is someone getting treatment in the first place? You know, what are some of their needs? So some of the therapeutic programs and processes can be authorized and paid for.