In an effort sure to impact providers with regard to the delivery of mental health services to patients, the U.S. Departments of HHS, Labor and the Treasury (collectively, departments) jointly released an interim final rule on February 2, 2010, that requires group health plans to treat medical and mental health benefits equally. Developed in conjunction with the departments' review of more than 400 public comments received in response to a request for information issued April 2009, the interim final rule implements the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA) (Pub. L. No. 110-343) which prohibits group health insurance plans from restricting access to care by limiting benefits and requiring higher patient costs than those that apply to general medical or surgical benefits. Specific comments being solicited by the interim final rule include "non-quantitative treatment limits, such as those that pertain to the scope and duration of covered benefits; how covered drugs are determined (formularies); coverage of step-therapies; "scope of benefits" or continuum of care." The interim final rule, which generally applies to group health plans and group health insurance issuers for plan years beginning on or after July 1, 2010, is effective April 5, 2010. Comments, which may be sent to any of the three departments, are due on or before May 3, 2010.