Advocacy Alert: December 2019 Legislative News Round Up
January 2, 2020
For those of you who follow us on social media know, we post regularly news stories that are connected to the behavioral health and addiction treatment industry. Many of these are news stories regarding legislation, and so once a month we send out a 'news roundup' of related news stories we've posted. Unless otherwise stated, BHAP has no official stance on any of these stories: the intention is to share so that we're all better informed as to what's happening.
A reminder that BHAP members get access to a monthly call with our advocate in Washington, DC, to find out what is going on and ask any questions you may have. Feel free to contact us for more information on that.
CT | Statewide Health Exchange must have Critical Mass, Financial Stability, Report Finds
As Connecticut prepares to launch a statewide health information exchange, its success will hinge on organizers' ability to achieve a critical mass of participants and develop plans for long-term financial sustainability, a report by the Connecticut Health Foundation has concluded.
House Committee Approves Landmark Bill Legalizing Marijuana at the Federal Level
The legislation allows states to enact their own policies and gives them incentives to clear criminal records of people with low-level marijuana offenses.
DC | CMS Approves Washington, DC's IMD Waiver for Mental Health
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approved Washington, DC's Behavioral Health Transformation Demonstration, which waives the institution for mental diseases (IMD) exclusion for short-term stays in IMDs for mental health and substance use disorder (SUD) treatment.
WI | Rep. John Nygren Builds on More than Five Years of Work on Opioid Crisis with New HOPE Bills
After five years and 30 bills, Rep. John Nygren is looking to continue his work combating Wisconsin's opioid epidemic through his latest round of legislation — a package he says focuses on "filling the gaps."
Myth or Fact? You Must Ask About Patients' Pain at Every Consult
The Joint Commission does not require physicians to ask every patient about their pain at every visit. The AMA is spreading that message along with others connected to physician-documentation tasks as part of a series, "Debunking Regulatory Myths," that seeks to provide clarification to physicians and their care teams in an effort to aid physicians in their day-to-day practice environment.
NJ | 'Support Recovery' License Plate Bill Heads to Governor's Desk
A bill sponsored by District 30 lawmakers Senator Robert Singer and Assemblyman Sean Kean to authorize the issuance of "Support Recovery" license plates was approved by the Senate today and moves to the governor for consideration.
Increased Funding to Fight Substance Abuse Part of $1.3 Trillion Budget Deal
An additional $140 million in funding -- pushed for by Rep. Max Rose (D-Staten Island/South Brooklyn) -- will go to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in 2020.
WY | Lawmakers Skeptical of $1 million Budget Request to Set Up Suicide Prevention Hotline in Wyoming
Wyoming is the only state in America that doesn’t have a local affiliate to the national suicide prevention hotline, and lawmakers were skeptical Monday of a $1 million request to change that.
UT | Utah Legislature Passes Supplemental Appropriations Bill for Behavioral Health
S.B. 2002 provides budget increases for Behavioral Health Services, reduces unused appropriations for Medicaid Expansion, and provides one-time appropriation for Washington County Court Support Services.
Senators Introduce Bill to Fight Spread of Opioids Through the Mail
U.S. Senators Gary Peters and Mitt Romney introduced bipartisan legislation to combat the circulation of opioids through the mail.
ID | Top 10 Do's and Don'ts for the Upcoming Idaho Legislative Session
"Improve and increase mental health treatment" is one of the items listed.
Grassley Speaks on Rural Mental Health Bill as Farmer Suicides Increase
The rate of farmer suicide has been on the rise across the United States and Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) recently introduced the Seeding Rural Resilience Act to curb it.