A newly released independent analysis of insurance claims data, the second such report this month, confirms that access to mental health and addiction treatment in the United States is fraught with discriminatory practices, pointing to violations of the bi-partisan Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act signed into law by President George W. Bush nearly a decade ago.

The new study, released on December 11 by RTI International’s renowned health economist, Tami Mark, PhD, corroborates a similar report released by the Milliman actuarial firm earlier this month, and reinforces that insurers aren’t living up to the letter or spirit of the parity law in two key areas: provider reimbursement rates and patient access to in-network providers. Both reports found, for in-network services, that psychiatrists and other addiction and mental health providers are paid less than physical health providers for services billed under the same codes. This new study also reveals that higher rates are paid to physical health doctors than to psychiatrists, even for patients whose primary diagnosis is a mental health condition.