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Healthcare reform may improve access to substance abuse treatment

Substance abuse treatment rates rose when states enacted parity legislation preventing payers from limiting substance abuse coverage more than they do for other conditions, according to a study published online in this month’s issue of JAMA Psychiatry.

The study measured the effect of state-level parity laws on state-aggregate substance abuse treatment. Researchers found that “by expanding the scope of parity to public insurance programs, the [Affordable Care Act] will reach a much larger population and may lead to an unparalleled growth of the substance abuse disorder treatment rate in the private and public sectors.”