Sheppard Pratt President and CEO Dr. Harsh K. Trivedi Issues Statement on American Health Care Act

Release Date: March 13, 2017

As president and CEO of the largest, non-profit provider of mental health, substance use, special education, and social support services—in Maryland and in the country—I join many in Congress and the healthcare industry in expressing my significant concern with the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which intends to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Currently, the Affordable Care Act ensures coverage for mental health and substance use services and expands access to treatment for the 68 million Americans impacted by these disorders. Under the proposed replacement, access to affordable health care would be out of reach for many, Medicaid funding would be cut drastically, and Medicaid plans would no longer have to cover mental health and addiction services. This would amount to a devastating reduction in the number of Americans able to access lifesaving mental health and substance use treatment.

At Sheppard Pratt, our top priority is to provide compassionate mental health care to every single patient that walks through our doors. Last year, over one-third of the patients hospitalized at Sheppard Pratt were covered by Medicaid. As a physician, and more specifically as a psychiatrist, I have seen firsthand the distress and the impact untreated mental health and substance use issues can have on families and communities.

Today, we are at a point where overdose deaths from the opioid crisis are at an all-time high in Maryland and across the nation. There is a critical need for access to quality psychiatric and substance use services across every community in America. I urge leaders in Congress to support a solution that protects our most vulnerable and ensures continued coverage for the tens of millions of Americans who rely on access to these services.

About Sheppard Pratt Health System 

Sheppard Pratt Health System (SPHS) is the largest non-profit provider of mental health, substance use, special education, and social support services in the country. As a nationwide resource, SPHS provides 2.3 million services each year across a comprehensive continuum of care, spanning both hospital- and community-based services. Since its founding in 1853, SPHS has been an innovator in the fields of research and best practice implementation, with a focus on improving the quality of mental health care on a global level. SPHS has been consistently ranked as a top national psychiatric hospital by U.S. News & World Report for the past 26 years.   

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