Created: 09/25/2013 7:25 PM WHEC.com
Providing proper care for mental health patients was the message Wednesday from former congressman Patrick Kennedy.
He was in town and spoke at the East House's annual Hope and Recovery luncheon.
Kennedy says the new Health Care Reform Act will help mental health patients receive the care they need. He says it will change the way doctors treat patients, because physicians will now be looking for signs of mental health and drug issues as well as physical conditions.
“With mental health, we wait until you get really sick before we treat you. That has to end. So we see people with cancer, we try to screen for caner. We don't wait until it's stage-four cancer. But that is how we treat mental health. We wait until it becomes the equivalent of stage-four cancer before we reimburse for it. That's going to change now. So people need to get reacquainted that when the go to the doctor for their check up, one of the check ups that is now going to be included is a check up from the neck up,” said Kennedy.
East House is a private agency which provides mental health and rehab services for more than a thousand clients each year