HLA in the News
Health Law Advocates, National Alliance on Mental Illness to host parity law seminar
The MetroWest Daily News | 01/19/2016
MARLBOROUGH — Health Law Advocates and the National Alliance on Mental Illness of MetroWest will conduct a free MetroWest mental health insurance parity seminar from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Feb. 9 at Employment Options, 82 Brigham St., Marlborough.
Joe Kennedy takes on insurance companies over mental health denials
The Boston Globe | 12/17/2015
“Oftentimes there will be a general explanation that the services don’t meet their medical necessity criteria,” said Matt Selig, executive director of Health Law Advocates, based in Boston. “They don’t go through how the person’s medical conditions and treatment needs don’t match up with the plan’s criteria.”
Cap Lift Urged to Broaden Insurance Coverage for Children
State House News Service | 07/22/2015
Andrew Cohen, HLA staff attorney, quoted in the State House News Service.
Mental Health: The Basics
Health Law Advocates partnered with Community Catalyst to create a “Mental Health Parity: The Basics” handout that explains the Federal Mental Health Parity Law.
Foundation Grant to Help People Keep Health Coverage
Worcester Telegram | 05/11/2015
WORCESTER - The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts has awarded a six-figure grant to a nonprofit law firm trying to keep low-income local families from losing health coverage as a result of the state’s flawed enrollment system.
Pilot mental-health program at Lowell Juvenile Court helping kids
The Lowell Sun | 04/29/2015
Funded with $500,000 in private grants, the program will be run by Health Law Advocates, a public-interest law firm whose goal is to provide pro bono legal presentation to low-income residents who struggle to access medical services.
Charitable Hospitals under the ACA and Section 501
Thanks to the support of The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts and the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation, HLA’s Litigation Director, Lorianne Sainsbury-Wong, spoke to legal and medical practitioners at the University of Massachusetts Medical School through the Massachusetts Bar Association’s 4-16-15 Central MA Health Care Symposium.
Register for Friday's Webinar!
Application of MHPAEA to Medicaid and CHIP
States Are Just Starting to Enforce the 2008 Mental Health Law
Governing Magazine | 04/07/2015
States haven't been enforcing laws to guarantee mental health coverage, but long-awaited federal guidelines and New York's aggressive approach could spur more to start.
Spring 2015 Docket
Read the Spring 2015 Docket here!
Health Care for Immigrants — Implications of Obama's Executive Action
The New England Journal of Medicine | 03/30/2015
Co-authored by HLA Board Member, Wendy E. Parmet, J.D.
HLA Board Member Ruth Ellen Fitch appointed to State Pension Board
New IRS Non-profit Hospital Regulations
read HLA Litigation Director, Lorianne Sainsbury-Wong's blog post that addresses changes, from the draft, to the final regulations with respect to consumer protections
Boston renames South Station for HLA Board Member and Former Governor, Michael Dukakis
See HLA Litigation Director Lorianne Sainsbury-Wong’s Nov. 7th presentation at the National Consumer Law Center’s 2014 Consumer Rights Litigation Conference
Provides an analysis of consumer medical debt under the Affordable Care Act’s new requirements for federally tax-exempt hospitals.
October 9, 2014 Hearing on merger between Beacon Health Strategies and ValueOptions
Read Executive Director, Matt Selig's testimony to the Joint Committee on Mental Health and Substance Abuse!
HLA Highlighted in BCBS of MA Foundation Report!
http://bluecrossfoundation.org/publication/investing-consumer-health-advocacy-through-operating-support-strengthening-voice-access | 06/19/2014
Investing in Consumer Health Advocacy Through Operating Support: Strengthening the Voice for Access 2011-2013
HLA's Laura Goodman Article Featured in Massachusetts Lawyers Journal
http://www.massbar.org/media/1476022/march2014.pdf | 06/05/2014
Final Parity Rule Strengthens Protections for Mental Health and Addiction Benefits
Staff Attorney Nancy Ryan Published in Massachusetts Lawyers Journal
The Affordable Care Act's impact on prevention: Examining access to affordable preventative health service
Executive Director Matt Selig Quoted in WBUR's CommonHealth Article
http://commonhealth.wbur.org/2014/05/few-know-mental-health-coverage | 05/21/2014
"Know Your Mental Health Coverage Rights? Probably Not, Study Finds"
Executive Director Matt Selig Interviewed for Boston Globe Parity Article
Selig was interviewed and quoted in the Nov. 9th, 2013 article, "Parity rules issued regarding coverage of mental health."
Board President Mala Rafik to Head the BBA's Lawyer Referral Service Review Committee
HLA Board President Mala Rafik, managing partner at Rosenfeld Rafik & Sullivan, has been named Chair of the Boston Bar Association's Lawyer Referral Service (LRS) Review Committee.
Board Member Wendy Parmet published article in New England Journal of Medicine
HLA Board Member and Northeastern University School of Law Professor Wendy Parmet published "Holes in the Safety Net — Legal Immigrants' Access to Health Insurance" on August 15.
Senior Staff Atty. Clare McGorrian quoted in Public News Service
Attorney Clare McGorrian was interviewed for the August 22 article, "Health Coverage Denied? Appeals Process Unappealing, Say Advocates."
HLA founder and board member profiled for recent article
Steve Rosenfeld, HLA's beloved founder and board member, was recently profiled by Sandra Storey in the JP Observer. Learn more about Steve's impressive career and commitment to health care justice and mental health parity.
HLA's Gavriela Bogin-Farber and Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez testify on medical debt
HLA testifies at the Dept. of Public Health’s hearing on proposed closure of child psych. inpatient beds
HLA Director of Children's Mental Health Sam Leadholm testified on May 8 before the Massachusetts Department of Public Health regarding Cambridge Health Alliance’s intent to discontinue providing a substantial part of its Inpatient Pediatric Psychiatry Services at its Cambridge Hospital campus.
"Each of Us Doing Our Part in Boston After the Attacks"
Health Care For All and Health Law Advocates Available to Navigate Health Care Coverage Challenges
HLA Featured in Boston Globe Article as Resource for Victims of Marathon Bombing:
"State’s providers, hospitals to ease medical expenses"
Advocates to Urge the State to Prevent Discrimination Against those Fighting Mental Illness and Substance Use by Insurance Companies
Former Congressman Patrick Kennedy to testify in Boston
MA Office of Consumer Affairs & Business Regulation and Rappaport Center for Law & Public Service Host "Empowering Healthcare Consumers: A Community Conversation Conference"
Want to learn about transparency tools consumers can use to take charge of their healthcare? Attend "Empowering Healthcare Consumers: A Community Conversation," presented at Suffolk University Law School on May 6.
Executive Director Matt Selig Interviewed for Cape Cod Times Article
Matt Selig was recently interviewed by the Cape Cod Times for an article entitled “Courts jump through procedural hoops in competency cases.”
Executive Director Matt Selig talks about "The Value of Legal Services for Low-Income People"
On January 28, Matt Selig joined a panel of other legal advocacy experts in "Talking About the Value of Legal Services for Low-Income People: Strategies to Expand our Vocabulary"
Executive Director Matt Selig to Present at Boston Bar Association
HLA Executive Director Matt Selig joins Torey McNamara, Research Analyst for State Representative Jeffrey Sanchez, on January 22 for "An Act Preventing Unnecessary Medical Debt: Policy Goals and Prospects."
HLA featured in Boston Globe
Executive Director Matt Selig and two former HLA clients were featured in the September 10 issue of the Boston Globe.
HLA Board Member Wendy Parmet and Litigation Director Lorianne Sainsbury-Wong quoted by Mass. Bar Association
The Massachusetts Bar Association quotes HLA Board Member Wendy Parmet, Litigation Director Lorianne Sainsbury-Wong, and students from Boston University School of Law about their work referenced in the Super Court decision on ACA.
HLA and Proskauer field Expert Panel to discuss Supreme Court's Health Care Reform Ruling
Listen to a discussion between distinguished health law and health care reform experts on what the Supreme Court's decision means for health care reform, employers, providers, insurers and consumers, and how it impacts established Supreme Court doctrine.
HLA Video Wins Award
Sugarhouse Media has won an award for the video featured at the 2011 HLA Annual Benefit Breakfast.
Litigation Director Lorianne Sainsbury-Wong Discusses Restoring Coverage to Legal Immigrants
HLA Litigation Director Lorianne Sainsbury-Wong discussed the current reintegration of legal immigrants into state-subsidized health insurance programs at the Massachusetts Bar Association.
HLA Board Member Wendy Parmet quoted in Boston Globe article on national health reform court case
In the Boston Globe, on the eve of U.S. Supreme Court oral arguments on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, HLA Board Member Wendy Parmet discussed why the Court should uphold the law.
HLA Launches Juvenile Court Mental Health Advocacy Project
This new project addresses pervasive barriers to mental health care access faced by juvenile court-involved youth.
HLA files brief in the U.S. Supreme Court to support national health care reform
Health Law Advocates' filed an amici curiae brief before the U.S. Supreme Court in "Department of Health and Human Services, et al., v. State of Florida, et al." In this matter, the Supreme Court will consider the constitutional validity of provisions of the 2010 national health care reform law.
HLA Scores Major Legal Victory for Immigrants' Health Care Access
On May 6, 2011 the Mass. Supreme Judicial Court issued a ruling that paves the way for more than 40,000 low-income legal immigrants to gain comprehensive health care coverage.
HLA Submits Comment on Proposed Federal Regulations Under the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan
On September 29, 2010, HLA submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on federal health care reform regulations under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
HLA Testifies on Massachusetts’ Emergency Dental Regulations
On August 11, 2010, Staff Attorney Audrey Perlow testified before the Office of Medicaid regarding the state’s recent cuts in adult dental services.
HLA Executive Director Testifies in Response to Sale of Caritas
On July 1, 2010, HLA Executive Director Matt Selig testified before the Office of the Attorney General and
The Department of Public Health regarding the sale and conversion of Caritas Christi Health Care.
HLA Cited in Media Report on Mental Health Care Access
A Boston Globe report on access to mental health care features comments by HLA’s Executive Director Matt Selig
HLA Joins Other Advocates Urging Strong Federal Parity Regulations
HLA, with advocates for health care consumers and providers, submitted comments urging the federal government to finalize regulations to broadly expand insurance coverage for mental health services.
HLA Executive Director Testifies Before the Division of Health Care Finance and Policy
HLA’s Executive Director Matt Selig was invited to testify at the State’s Annual Public Hearing on Health Care Provider Costs and Cost Trends.
Health Law Advocates Challenges Law Excluding Legal Immigrants from Healthcare
On February 25, 2010, Health Law Advocates filed a lawsuit to restore health insurance benefits for more than 30,000 legal immigrants.
Health Law Advocates Congratulates Dr. Brent Martin on His Selection as MassHealth Dental Director
Health Law Advocates (“HLA”) is pleased to extend its congratulations to Dr. Brent Martin who today was announced as the new full-time MassHealth Dental Director by the Executive Office of Health and Human Services. HLA believes the hiring of Dr. Martin to fill this important position will help improve the delivery of oral health services to MassHealth members.
HLA Attorney Testifies at Attorney General's Discount Health Plan Regulation Hearing
On October 13, 2009, Attorney General Martha Coakley held a public hearing on her newly proposed regulations that would require discount health plans to disclose detailed information related to their products.
Health Law Advocates, Inc. Announces New Executive Director
Press Release | 09/17/2009
Health Law Advocates (HLA) is pleased to announce the appointment of its new Executive Director, Matt Selig.
HLA Acting Director Comments on Historic Settlement in MEGA Life Case
An insurer that allegedly misled people into buying low-cost health insurance policies and then denied coverage after they became ill will pay $17 million in what the state says may be the largest consumer protection settlement against a health plan in Massachusetts history.
Health Law Advocates mourns the loss of Senator Edward M. Kennedy.
Senator Kennedy was our Nation’s strongest voice on countless
important issues, yet his greatest concern was for every person in
our Country to have access to quality and affordable health care.
HLA's Immediate Past Board President Authors Boston Globe OpEd
Wendy Parmet, Professor of Law at Northeastern University Law School and HLA Board Member, wrote, in the Boston Globe Opinion Page that access to quality healthcare is critical to combating a future pandemic or other public health crisis.
HLA Clients Testify at Commonwealth Care Eligibility Regulations Hearing
HLA clients Linda, Rhonda and Sue speak out at a Public Hearing to demonstrate rising medical costs, increased medical debt, and a concern over consumers being uninsured as they transition between state subsidized health care programs.
HLA Comments on 956 C.M.R. 3.00 “Amendments to Eligibility and Hearing Process for Commonwealth Care”
HLA and its clients testified in-person at a Public Hearing regarding 956 CMR 3.00 Commonwealth Care eligibility regulations.
HLA Comments on DOI Bulletin Regarding the Mandated Benefits Under the State Mental Health Parity Laws
The Division of Insurance, working with the Department of Mental Health, issued a draft bulletin designed to outline, for providers, insurers and the insured, the types of intermediate and outpatient mental health services that are mandated benefits under the state mental health parity laws. HLA, with several other groups, submitted comments to DOI regarding their bulletin as we had numerous concerns about the effects of some of the language in the draft bulletin. Our comments, which were submitted in redline form on the draft issued by DOI, are attached along with a cover letter outlining our concerns.
Health Law Advocates Receives Grant For Worcester Juvenile Court Program
Health Law Advocates, Inc. (HLA) has received a grant from The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts to implement a project to improve access to mental health services for children appearing before the Worcester Juvenile Court. Judges in the Worcester Juvenile court will have the option of appointing HLA attorneys to make independent recommendations to the Court regarding the mental health needs of the children and to facilitate the implementation of their recommendations.
Early diagnosis of children's mental health is key
Milford Daily News | 11/28/2008
The problems that plague children's mental health in Milford are the same statewide, with access and early diagnosis at the top of the list of issues discussed earlier this week at a brown-bag lunch. "Nationally we don't do well by our kids," said Barbara Anthony, executive director of the Boston-based Health Law Advocates. "We talk a good game, but our rhetoric doesn't match our results."
AG Investigates Boss' Failure To Pay Workers Health Insurance Premiums
TheBostonChannel.com | 11/13/2008
Several employees showed original pay stubs to Team 5 Investigates, confirming that their bosses had been deducting the employees' contribution toward health care from paychecks until June 28, 2008, the day Winthrop Printing closed. It remains unclear where that money is now.
"They're caught in the middle," said Barbara Anthony, executive director of Health Law Advocates, and former head of the consumer protection unit at the Massachusetts Attorney General's office. "They're totally innocent and they're just caught in the middle here."
Insurance for $30 a Month
TIME.com | 10/16/2008
Humana's Monogram plan, for instance, pairs its $30 premium with a staggering $7,500 deductible. Consumers who don't look past price per month may find themselves shelling out thousands more dollars down the line. "So many of these policies can be really shoddy," says Barbara Anthony, executive director of Health Law Advocates, a nonprofit law firm based in Boston. "Know up front what you're paying for."
Some Medical Debt May Be Avoidable in Massachusetts
EthnicNEWz.org | 09/26/2008
Robert Peck, a motivational speaker from Greenfield, Mass., has relied on health insurance coverage his entire adult life. He says he paid $470 per month for his insurance, plus high deductibles whenever he needed more-than-routine care. But when Peck tested positive for a rare type of blood cancer, his insurance company refused to cover him when he needed the financial and health support the most.
Many need help healing from medical debts
The Daily News Tribune | 09/19/2008
For Waltham's Terry Collins, battling mounting medical debt means watching her wallet rather than her health as she tries to pay off more than $1,000 in bills from area hospitals and other health providers. This means she could run out of prescription medication in a few weeks, plus she said she has delayed a needed mammogram for last six months because she can't afford it.
Health Law Advocates Endorses Medical Debt Recommendations To Help Consumers Statewide
Health Law Advocates | 09/18/2008
On Thursday, September18th, Health Law Advocates (HLA) joined one of its partners, The Access Project (TAP), in a press conference concerning consumer medical debt and calling for the state and private health care sectors to do more to help consumers during these rocky economic times.
Medical Debt Problems Plague Massachusetts Residents
The Access Project & Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation | 09/18/2008
The work of the Access Project shows that providers have to do a much better job of screening and counseling patients and providing information to patients about financial assistance to help pay medical bills.
Carolyn Pointer, HLA Attorney, named as one of Boston Bar Association 15 New Public Interest Leaders.
Boston Bar Association | 09/17/2008
Since the Public Interest Leadership Program began six years ago, over 40 lawyer alums have advanced to leadership positions within the BBA; its charitable affiliate, the Boston Bar Foundation; and key community groups. Public Interest Leaders reap the benefit of their predecessors’ experience while honing their own leadership expertise
Errors leave some without insurance
Boston Globe | 08/23/2008
"We get a steady stream of people who were erroneously dropped," said Barbara Anthony, executive director of Health Law Advocates, a nonprofit that has sued the state on behalf of some Commonwealth Care members who were mistakenly terminated.
New MA law aids children with mental health needs
Associated Press | 08/21/2008
The need for services is acute, according to advocates. A report by Children's Hospital Boston and the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, found that of the more than 140,000 young people under age 18 who need mental health services each year, more than 100,000 do not receive them. "There are too many children in the Commonwealth who go undiagnosed or untreated for mental illness," Senate President Therese Murray said. "This new law will help seal the cracks in our system."
439,000 more get health coverage
Boston Globe | 08/20/2008
"This shows a cultural shift in public attitude, where people understand that as a community, by everyone getting health insurance, we are improving the health of everybody," said Brian Rosman, research director of Health Care for All, one of the state's largest consumer groups.
Something to SMILE about
Worchester Telegram & Gazette | 07/30/2008
After federal court order, 150 dentists now treat children in poor
Health enrollment has its cost
Boston Globe | 06/28/2008
HLA's Barbara Anthony is quoted in a Globe editorial about the challenges in administering Commonwealth Care.
Error puts 16,000 in dark about benefits
Boston Globe | 06/24/2008
MassHealth mailing on eligibility delayed
Health Law Advocates Inc. relies on pro bono attorneys for health care justice
Massachusetts Bar Association | Lawyer's Journal | 03/01/2008
The struggle for coverage is at the heart of Health Law Advocates' mission: fighting for health care justice, a battle it wages with the help of pro bono attorneys.
State says insurers must list executives' pay
Boston Globe | 02/01/2008
Consumers will soon be able to learn how much their insurance companies are paying top executives.
Chapter 58 Notes: The “Individual Mandate”: Up Close and Personal
Boston Bar Association | Health Law Reporter | 01/01/2008
An article on advising clients who may be faced with the tax penalty under the Ch. 58 health reform act mandate.
Woman Slammed With $43,000 Hospital Bill
TheBostonChannel.com | 11/27/2007
An out-of-state insurance company considers a Boston woman's cancer treatment experimental and denies her coverage.
An epidemic of hospital infections
Boston Globe | Letters to the Editor | 08/19/2007
Health Care Law with Teeth Needed
Patriot Ledger | Letters to the Editor | 08/02/2007
HLA attorney advocates expansion of benefits under the Commonwealth Care plans to include oral health services.
HCFA v. Romney One Year Later – What Has Been Accomplished?
Health Care for All press release | 07/01/2007
One year after a federal judge ruled that Massachusetts had “fallen far short of meeting statutory obligations” to serve the dental needs of children on MassHealth, progress is being made toward providing these children with the dental care they need and deserve.