Advocacy Alert: January 2020 Legislative News Round Up

February 3, 2020


For those of you who follow us on social media know, we post news stories on a daily basis that are connected to the behavioral health and addiction treatment industry.

Many of these are news stories regarding legislation, 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 in the legislative world.

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.

This Mental Health Advocate Wants to Make Addiction and Behavioral Health a 2020 Election Issue
Shared 1/3/20
A top mental health and addiction treatment advocate here wants behavioral health on the ballot in 2020.

A Spate of New Class-Action Lawsuits Threaten the CBD Industry. Will they Force Washington to Act?
Shared 1/7/20
Since the Food and Drug Administration can’t figure out whether supplements that contain cannabidiol, the marijuana-adjacent oil known as CBD, are legal, can a customer who thought they were buying a legal product demand their money back?

ME | Democrats Submit Bill to Cut Cost of Primary and Behavioral Health Care
Shared 1/10/20
Under the proposal by Gov. Janet Mills and top Democratic lawmakers, first visits would be free to Mainers with individual or small group Affordable Care Act coverage.

Capito Introduces Bipartisan, Bicameral Bill to Help Americans Fight Substance Use Disorder
Shared 1/14/20
U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) on Jan. 9 introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation to establish a grant program for community organizations that provide support for individuals and their families struggling with substance use disorder.

FL | More Arrests to Come in Crackdown on Drug-Recovery Industry, Prosecutor Vows
Shared 1/15/20
The top prosecutor told the South Florida Sun Sentinel that within the next 30 to 45 days his office will make several new arrests on an even larger scale than has been seen since the crackdown began in 2016. (A reminder that we have our Certificate in Addiction Treatment Marketing – C-ATM: a six-course certificate program that educates on how to market your addiction treatment marketing program.)

Nurse and Doctor Team of Congresswomen Underwood And Schrier Unveil New Legislation to Make Primary Care, Mental Healthcare, and Substance Use Disorder Treatment More Affordable
Shared 1/16/20
Primary and Behavioral Health Care Access Act would require insurance to cover three primary care visits and three mental health or substance use disorder treatment visits per year without charging patients out-of-pocket.

Latta Focuses on State Efforts to Combat Substance Abuse & the Opioid Epidemic
Shared 1/16/20
Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH5) joined the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations to further examine the state efforts underway to curb the opioid crisis and to shine a spotlight on the importance of legislation Latta authored, the Indexing Narcotics, Fentanyl and Opioids (INFO) Act. The INFO Act was a core part of H.R.6, the SUPPORT Act, that was signed into law 2018.

Get Out the Vote 2020 – Access New Toolkit from NCBH
Shared 1/17/20
Be an impetus for change in our behavioral health care system by advocating for the civic right to vote with the National Council for Behavioral Health’s Get Out the Vote 2020 Toolkit.

How Payers Can Help Reform Behavioral, Mental Health Parity
Shared 1/17/20
Experts from the Bowman Family Foundation and the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions explain how payers can assist with behavioral and mental healthcare parity.

State Health Officials Say Medicaid Expansion Helped Combat Opioid Epidemic
Shared 1/18/20
Health officials from Rhode Island, Massachusetts, North Carolina, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania testified before a congressional committee about how states have used federal opioid funding.

State Health Experts Ask Congress for Help Combating Opioid Crisis
Shared 1/19/20
States need sustained, flexible federal funding to support programs working to reduce deaths and addiction from opioids and other drugs, state health officials told Congress.

Warner Asks DEA to Expedite Substance Abuse Telehealth Guidance
Shared 1/21/20
A U.S. Senator is calling for the Drug Enforcement Administration to stop delaying providers from being able to treat patients using telehealth.

OK | Oklahoma City Rep. Introduces Drug/Alcohol Pilot Program Legislation
Shared 1/23/20
State Rep. Forrest Bennett (D-OKC) introduced legislation for the second half of the 57th Legislative Session. The legislation would seek to offer additional support in the fight against drug and alcohol addiction.

MA | Behavioral Health & Substance Abuse Services: Massachusetts Proposal Reflects Focus on Expanding Access and Coverage
Shared 1/23/20
Massachusetts House Bill 4134 includes several provisions aimed at expanding access to treatment for mental health and substance use conditions in the Massachusetts Commonwealth.

IL | Illinois Now Requires Mental Health Training for Police Officers
Shared 1/27/20
A new law that took effect January 1 said police officer training schools must now “include recognizing signs and symptoms of work-related cumulative stress, issues that may lead to suicide, and solutions for intervention with peer support resources.”

Where the 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidates Stand on the Opioid Epidemic
Shared 1/28/20
Candidates have been calling attention and offering ways to address the country’s deadly, pervasive epidemic of opioids.



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