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first_img– / 18 Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith (89) is stopped by Arizona Cardinals free safety Tyrann Mathieu (32) during the second half of an NFL football game, Monday, Oct. 26, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) 0 Comments   Share   Look at what happened to the Cardinals in the postseason without Tyrann Mathieu on the field. The Packers, with the legendary pass-catching triumvirate of Jeff Janis, Jared Abbrederis and Richard Rodgers tore Arizona apart. Ditto Corey Brown and Ted Ginn Jr. in the NFC Title Game.No DB since Charles Woodson in Green Bay has been able to be used at corner, safety and in the slot, while also blitzing off the edge and making free-roaming plays the way the Honey Badger did in 2015.And finally, former NFL running back LaDainian Tomlinson gave his thoughts, and it starts with him believing Mathieu’s presence in Arizona should be recognized.Mathieu played around 98 percent of Arizona’s defensive snaps before he went down with the knee injury in Week 15. That’s like a quarterback figure; most defensive players don’t do that. His impact on the Cardinals’ defense is something you really can’t quantify.It has been reported the Cardinals are planning to approach the 23-year-old Mathieu, who was a third-round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, about signing a long-term contract extension this offseason, which is something the defensive back has said is “very encouraging.” Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Top Stories Tyrann Mathieu had a banner 2015 season for the Arizona Cardinals, though unfortunately it got cut short by a torn ACL in a Week 15 win over the Philadelphia Eagles.However, what the third-year pro accomplished in 14 games — 89 total tackles, five interceptions, one sack — and the way in which he did it impressed many throughout the NFL to the point where he was being mentioned as a candidate for the NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo The winner of the award will be announced Saturday, and while Mathieu is not likely to hear his name called, that does not mean there are not people who believe he deserves the honor.Over at NFL.com, a host of panelists was asked to make their pick for the DPOY Award, and while Houston Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt earned the most votes, it was the Cardinals’ safety who came in second with four.Nate Burleson, who played wide receiver in the NFL, wrote that Mathieu is the league’s Swiss Army Knife.Despite being an undersized defensive back, Tyrann Mathieu proved to be the most versatile defensive player in the league this year. He’s able to guard everything, from wideouts to tight ends to running backs, and he’s one of the best tacklers in the NFL.It’s very unfortunate his season prematurely ended in Week 15, but don’t forget about the spectacular campaign he already had enjoyed.Dave Dameshek wrote that Mathieu’s play reminds him of greats Troy Polamalo and Ed Reed.Play for play, Aaron Donald is the most disruptive interior D-lineman I can recall seeing since Steve Emtman was a Washington Husky, but Tyrann Mathieu’s instinctive freelancing recalls past Def Players of the Year Troy Polamalu and Ed Reed — and the Honey Badger had a similar impact on one of the league’s best teams.Elliot Harrison believes Mathieu’s versatility is akin to Charles Woodson when he was at the height of his powers. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

Mental Health Parity Law Meets Crafty Insurers Wheres the Enforcement

first_imgShare9TweetShareEmail9 Shares August 3, 2015; Vox (Kaiser Health News)When the Mental Health Parity Act finally passed in 2008, most advocates were realistic about its possible impact, understanding that almost any positive effect would be dependent on enforcement. The act was meant to eliminate the higher copayments and deductibles imposed on those seeking treatment for mental rather than physical illnesses and rectify their more limited access to treatment. Indeed, as this article suggests, it’s now harder to point to outright violations of those provisions, but insurers have managed to creatively erect new types of slightly less obvious barriers.Henry Harbin, Maryland’s former mental health director, said the lack of oversight is being exploited by insurers. “They can micromanage care down to almost nothing,” he says. “The enforcement in this area is a joke.”One favorite dodge, according to a survey of patients by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), is to designate treatment as “not medically necessary,” which reportedly now happens twice as often for mental health as for other medical conditions.“‘Medical necessity’ is the insurers’ last hurrah,” said Meiram Bendat, an attorney focusing on mental health cases. “Insurers have become much more crafty at coming up with protocols that are not expressed numerically, that are more difficult to spot.”Additionally, no one federal agency oversees the implementation of mental health parity. Those responsibilities are divided among a complex web of groups that includes the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Treasury, as well as state insurance commissioners. This leaves most not knowing where they might get help, and even when they do reach out, their attempts are often easily foiled by insurers. The Parity Implementation Coalition in Washington, D.C., says that though its hotline has received hundreds of consumer complaints, it has a hard time following up because insurers refuse to release documents that would allow comparisons to be made between mental health and other health-related claims.Meanwhile, Clare Krusing of the insurers’ association insisted that such documents are being made available to patients and providers upon request. “Plans are committed to being transparent about their coverage decisions,” she said. Decisions to deny treatment, she said, are based on ensuring that patients receive care based on the best medical evidence.“We are still at a point in the health system where patients face wide variation in the type of care they’re receiving,” she said. “Oftentimes we see tests and procedures done that are costly and unnecessary for the type of care that they’re seeking or even help or benefit their condition.”By most accounts, with limited oversight and no enforcement, the law does not have teeth sharp enough or monitoring systematic enough to deter insurers who wish to avoid paying claims. In fact, to date the federal government has not taken a single public enforcement action and only a few states are monitoring insurers for compliance.Some advocates accuse President Obama of ignoring enforcement for fear of upsetting allies. “Insurance companies were part of the coalition that helped bring the ACA to life, and the administration feels an enormous debt of gratitude,” said former congressman Patrick Kennedy, who helped pass the Parity Law. “It’s a challenge politically to then step on the toes of those that brought them to the dance.”An estimated 43 million Americans ages 18 or older reported having a mental illness in 2013, but fewer than half successfully accessed treatment, in part due to affordability.—Ruth McCambridgeShare9TweetShareEmail9 Shareslast_img read more