225 Varick Street
The Legal Action Center (LAC) seeks a Health Policy Attorney in its New York office to work on cutting edge legal and policy issues relating to equitable access to substance use and mental health care and health privacy.
About the Organization
LAC is a private, not-for-profit law and policy organization, with offices in New York City and Washington, D.C. LAC is the only organization in the country whose sole mission is to fight discrimination against people with criminal records, substance use disorders, and/or HIV/AIDS. LAC is a national leader in preserving the gains realized through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) of expanded access to health care for people with mental health and substance use disorders and people in the criminal justice system. LAC is also a leading advocate for the privacy of substance use disorder and HIV information. LAC uses a multi-faceted approach to effectuate its mission, including policy advocacy, training and technical assistance, impact litigation, and legal services.
About the Issues
This position will focus primarily on two issues:
Health parity. The federal Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (“Parity Act”) was enacted 10 years ago to end discrimination by health insurers against people with mental health and substance use disorders. It requires most health insurers to cover substance use disorder (SUD) and mental health (MH) services equally with other medical and surgical services. Unfortunately, enforcement of the Parity Act has remained low, and its promise unrealized. As a result, millions of people with mental health and substance use disorders cannot access necessary treatment. LAC has spearheaded a national “parity@10 campaign” to unite local and national advocates in 10 states to pursue full enforcement of the Parity Act – with the ultimate goal of ensuring that the law lives up to its promise nationwide. For more information, visit the parity@10 pages on LAC’s and the parity@10 campaign websites.
Health privacy. LAC is a national expert on the federal law that provides heightened privacy protections for SUD treatment records – protections critical to encouraging people to seek care due to the overwhelming stigma and criminalization of this health condition. LAC authors educational materials and provides training and technical assistance to SUD and other health care providers and policy makers about how to apply these privacy protections in this era of electronic health records and integration of SUD/MH care with other medical care. LAC also leads a national advocacy effort to maintain heightened privacy protections in the face of efforts to weaken them. LAC has similar expertise with respect to New York’s HIV confidentiality law and likewise authors educational materials and provides training and technical assistance about its implementation. For more information about LAC’s health privacy work, see the SUD confidentiality and HIV confidentiality pages of LAC’s website.
- Participate in and eventually lead LAC’s work on parity implementation in New York. As part of this work, the new attorney will help coordinate the Parity@10 campaign’s efforts to move New York towards full implementation of the parity law through coalition building, maintaining coalition member involvement and coordinating advocacy efforts targeting government officials and others to support the reforms needed to achieve campaign goals.
- Conduct policy research and analysis of federal and state legislation, statutes, regulations and policy guidance on parity and other health care access issues; write policy materials for state policy-makers and advocates; and help develop and implement policy advocacy strategies.
- Conduct educational presentations and trainings on parity and potentially other health policy issues to inform and empower stakeholders to strengthen the effectiveness of their advocacy.
- Participate in all aspects of LAC’s substance use disorder and HIV confidentiality education, technical assistance, and policy work, including: creating educational materials; conducting trainings; providing legal counsel to treatment providers nationwide through LAC’s telephone hotline; and participating in the public policy debate about how to ensure confidentiality in a changing health care environment.
The position will report to both the New York State Policy Director (for parity and other policy work) and Legal Director (for health privacy work). The position will require limited travel, primarily within New York State.
Salary is commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits, including medical insurance, 403(b) plan with employer contribution, and pre-tax flexible benefits.
Minimum Education Required
How To Apply
Please email a cover letter, résumé, and writing sample (no calls) to email@example.com and write “Staff Attorney – parity ombuds” in the subject line. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Only candidates selected for interviews will be contacted.
The Legal Action Center is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Members of LAC’s stakeholder populations are strongly encouraged to apply