Anna Ratzliff advocates for national policies that improve access to effective mental health care

Department news | April 21, 2022

In her role as Co-Director of the Advancing Integrated Mental Health Solutions (AIMS) Center, Anna Ratzliff, MD, PhD, traveled to Washington DC last month to testify in front of the US Senate Committee on Finance at a full committee hearing on “Behavioral Health Care When Americans Need It: Ensuring Parity and Care Integration.” Dr. Ratzliff spoke about the many ways Congress can help promote policies to improve access to effective mental health care including incentivizing the integration of behavioral healthcare into primary care, addressing health equity, and increasing access to telehealth. “Championing evidence-based policies that ensure that our patients receive the mental health and substance use disorder care that they need will save lives and reduce overall health costs,” said Dr. Ratzliff. After her testimony, she answered questions from committee members about topics such as insurance barriers to access and mental health parity, how the Collaborative Care Model can effectively partner with community-based organizations, how the model can support underserved communities such as BIPOC and rural individuals, support for opioid addiction, and the benefits of telemedicine. She did a fantastic job showing a broad range of expertise and played a key role bringing the perspective of the clinician and the patient experience to the panel. The hearing and Dr. Ratzliff’s testimony are accessible on the Finance Committee website.