Healthy Minds research cited in national report showing lack of access to mental health care

July 18, 2023

Healthy Minds' groundbreaking research examining the availability of behavioral health care through commercial insurance networks in Oklahoma was cited in a new report by The Bowman Family Foundation about equitable access to mental health and substance use care.

The Bowman Family Foundation report is based on a survey conducted by NORC of over 2,700 patients across the U.S. about their experiences seeking behavioral health care.

The survey found that 57% of patients sought mental health or substance use care but didn't receive any in at least one instance, compared to 32% of patients seeking physical health care.

Another key finding showed that 39% of people with employer-sponsored health insurance saw at least one out-of-network provider for mental health or substance use care, compared to 15% for physical health care.

The results track with Healthy Minds' network access research, which found that the majority of providers in insurance network directories appeared to be unavailable or unreachable, with many listing disconnected phone lines. Our research found that even when providers were active in insurance networks, many could not see patients in a timely manner.

Read the full report from The Bowman Family Foundation, which recommends expanding mental health and substance use networks, enforcing existing state and federal parity laws, and integrating behavioral health care into primary care settings.