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American Psychiatric Association Statement on Ninth Circuit Court’s Decision in Wit v. United Behavioral Health

  • March 23, 2022

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 23, 2022 – Yesterday, the Ninth Circuit Court reversed the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California’s February 2019 decision in Wit v. United Behavioral Health. The American Psychiatric Association released this statement:

“In February 2019, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California decided that United Behavioral Health (UBH) violated its fiduciary duty to mental health beneficiaries by making coverage decisions according to its own guidelines and influenced by financial interests, rather than according to the accepted standards in the industry.

We are extremely disappointed in the Ninth Circuit’s ruling, particularly as the nation faces a mental health and substance use disorder crisis in the aftermath of COVID-19. As access to mental health and substance use services is a priority for the Biden Administration, we urge Congress, as well as states across the nation, to pass legislation adopting the principles of the Wit district court decision to ensure fair and equitable treatment of patients with mental health and/or substance use disorders and hold insurance companies accountable.”

APA most recently filed an amicus brief last May

American Psychiatric Association
The American Psychiatric Association, founded in 1844, is the oldest medical association in the country. The APA is also the largest psychiatric association in the world with 37,400 physician members specializing in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and research of mental illnesses. APA’s vision is to ensure access to quality psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. For more information, please visit

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