Bloomberg Law: Matt Lavin on Delaying Mental Health Suits
May 27, 2020
“I’ve had a lot of insurance companies trying to put the brakes indefinitely on cases using the ubiquitous ‘Covid’ excuse,” said Matt Lavin, a partner at Napoli Shkolnik PLLC who almost exclusively represents behavioral health patients and providers.
In every single case he has pending, without exception, Lavin said insurance company lawyers have used the pandemic to delay and indefinitely pause litigation related to mental health treatment. Attorneys say this doesn’t bode well for the future coverage of behavioral health care, even as more claims for coverage are expected.
“We were already in one mental health epidemic and now we’re deep in the middle of another one,” he said.
“We’ve got dual mental health crises where people don’t have access to care and insurance companies are saying essentially, ‘We don’t care at all about the patients or them getting treatment. We’re just too busy to take a look at changing our guidelines.’ I think it’s unconscionable.”