Affordable Care Act Mainstreams Help for Gambling Addiction

National Council on Problem Gambling provides advocates with road map to ensure gambling addiction is incorporated into the evolving national healthcare system.

  • Share on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInEmail a friend
With an annual social cost of approximately $7 billion, coverage for the prevention and treatment of gambling addiction is clearly the most ethical and economical way to minimize harm. -Keith Whyte, NCPG Executive Director

Washington, D.C. (PRWEB) August 14, 2014

The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) released the report “Problem Gambling in the 21st Century Healthcare System: Implications of the DSM-5, ACA and Parity for Problem Gambling Treatment and Advocacy” to provide policy makers, counselors, problem gamblers and their families with essential information to help shape how gambling addiction is included in healthcare reform. With the behavioral health landscape shifting under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the reclassification of problem gambling within the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the changing environment offers an opportunity to further embed help for problem gambling within mainstream healthcare. This report examines the opportunities under these new laws and offers recommendations for effective problem gambling advocacy in the 21st century healthcare system.

According to NCPG Executive Director Keith Whyte, “NCPG will lead the way by harnessing the power of determined individuals and organizations who demand change. For too long the concerns of problem gamblers, their families and the treatment community have been met with indifference at the state and national level.” Whyte continued: “With an annual social cost of approximately $7 billion, coverage for the prevention and treatment of gambling addiction is clearly the most ethical and economical way to minimize harm.”

The report identifies seventeen recommendations in four broad advocacy areas that problem gambling advocates should pursue, according to Maureen Greeley, NCPG President. “Both the ACA and other legislative actions that expand behavioral health coverage will have major implications for problem gambling treatment. NCPG will continue to lead the way in bringing together individuals and organizations who want to ensure that integration is not simply a buzz word in the public health lexicon.” Greeley continued: “Gambling disorder clearly falls within the ACA’s behavioral health benefit and, equally important, the significant relationship between problem gambling and other behavioral health conditions simply requires that treating individuals with co-occurring conditions becomes a standard practice. But it will take strong advocacy efforts, particularly at the state level, to demand that crucial details and practical applications are addressed in order to guarantee that covered benefits don’t remain vague or open to vast differences in interpretation.”

A free copy of the complete report is available at: http://www.ncpgambling.org/ACA-DSM5-Brief.

The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) is the national advocate for programs and services to assist problem gamblers and their families. NCPG was founded in 1972 and is neutral on legalized gambling.

#####


Contact