How are the Health Plans Preparing to Provide Mental Health Services?

With the legislation of the 1994 National Health Insurance Law, it was decided that responsibility for mental health services would be transferred from the Ministry of Health to Israel’s four health plans, after a “brief delay.” The operative date was repeatedly postponed until May 2012 when the government issued a directive calling for the implementation of the transfer to begin in mid-2012 and be completed by 2015. This study, conducted prior to the directive, examines the preparations for the transfer made by the health plans up until 2012.

The goals of the study were to:

  •  Map the health plans’ existing mental health services
  •  Review the activity of the health plans over time in anticipation of the insurance reform in mental health

The study found that all the health plans offer their members ambulatory mental health services though they vary from one another in the extent and form of services offered, the target populations, and the extent that they publicize the service.

Moreover, over the years, all the health plans have taken steps to prepare for the implementation of the insurance reform. Here, too, the health plans differ in the intensity of their provisions and the degree to which the services which they developed as part of their preparations have continued to function in the absence of the reform.

This study is part of a series monitoring the reform in Israel’s mental health services.  The study provides—for the first time—a comprehensive overview of the mental health services of the health plans prior to the reform. A continuation study will examine the health plans’ activities in preparation for the full implementation of the reform in 2015.

This baseline study was funded with the assistance of the Israel National Institute for Health Policy and Health Services Research (NIHP) and the Maurice and Vivienne Wohl Charitable Foundation.

Citations in the professional and academic literature

Nirel, N., & Samuel, H. (2014). Work practices and the provision of mental-health care on the verge of reform: a national survey of Israeli psychiatrists and psychologists. Israel journal of health policy research3(1), 25.

Chen, J., Ondracek, C., & Guarente, L. The Role of SIRT1 in Modulating Circadian Rhythms Through High-fat Diet. MURJ Massachusett, 20.