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Archive: February 2013

Capitol Connector
Your source for the latest updates from Capitol Hill. We translate policy into practice so you can learn how policy trends will affect your work and how best to prepare.

Bipartisan Group of Senators Introduces Excellence in Mental Health Act

February 8, 2013 | Uncategorized | Comments
Senators Stabenow and Blunt introduce the Excellence in Mental Health Act

Rebecca Farley

Director, Policy & Advocacy, National Council for Behavioral Health

Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and  Roy Blunt (R-MO) yesterday introduced the Excellence in Mental Health Act (S. 264). This legislation would support the nation’s community mental health and addictions system by establishing national standards and oversight for Certified Community Behavioral Health Centers. The Senators were joined by cosponsors Jack Reed (D-RI), Susan Collins (R-ME), Barbara […]

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House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force Releases Recommendations to Improve Mental Health and Public Education

February 8, 2013 | Uncategorized | Comments
house gun violence task force recommendations

Rebecca Farley

Director, Policy & Advocacy, National Council for Behavioral Health

Yesterday, a group of Democratic lawmakers tasked with crafting a response to the tragic Newtown shooting released their recommendations on reducing gun violence in the U.S. The recommendations included a section on mental health, which highlighted the importance of investing in prevention and public education around mental illness. The mental health recommendations include an endorsement […]

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Payers Not Accepting 2013 CPT Codes? That’s a HIPAA violation.

February 1, 2013 | Uncategorized | Comments

Rebecca Farley

Director, Policy & Advocacy, National Council for Behavioral Health

Are the payers you work with creating new definitions for the 2013 CPT codes? Or not accepting claims submissions with 2013 CPT codes? Both are HIPAA violations. The AMA recently released two Practice Management Alerts (on January 7th and January 8th) encouraging providers to report HIPAA violations.

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MIOTCRA Reauthorization Introduced in Congress

February 1, 2013 | Uncategorized | Comments

Rebecca Farley

Director, Policy & Advocacy, National Council for Behavioral Health

New legislation introduced this month in Congress would reauthorize and expand the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act (MIOTCRA). The Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Act (S. 162/H.R. 401) was introduced in the Senate by Senator Al Franken and 19 bipartisan cosponsors, and in the House by Congressmen Richard Nugent and 9 bipartisan cosponsors.

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Latest Resources to Make Health Reform a Reality

February 1, 2013 | Uncategorized | Comments

Rebecca Farley

Director, Policy & Advocacy, National Council for Behavioral Health

I don’t know about you, but I’ve noticed a sudden rush in health reform-related resources arriving in my email inbox. Maybe it’s because we’re past the elections or because many of the big (and controversial) provisions of the Affordable Care Act are launching in less than year. Whatever the reasons, we know it’s hard to keep up with everything that’s going on in your state.

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National Council Staff, Members Tout Excellence in Mental Health Act at Congressional Hearings on Mental Health

February 1, 2013 | Uncategorized | Comments

Rebecca Farley

Director, Policy & Advocacy, National Council for Behavioral Health

This week, several congressional committees held hearings on the U.S. mental healthcare system. The National Council congratulates our staff and members who testified at these hearings on the need for better integrated care, public education, and improvements in delivery and payment structures:

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Senator Begich and 8 Cosponsors Introduce Mental Health First Aid Act

February 1, 2013 | Uncategorized | Comments

Rebecca Farley

Director, Policy & Advocacy, National Council for Behavioral Health

A bill introduced today with bipartisan support in the Senate would provide funding to train Americans in Mental Health First Aid. The Mental Health First Aid Act of 2013 was introduced by lead sponsors Senators Mark Begich (D-AK), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT). They were joined by cosponsors Jack Reed (D-RI), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Roy Blunt (R-MO), and Marco Rubio (R-FL).

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CMS Releases Letter on Application of Parity to Medicaid

February 1, 2013 | Uncategorized | Comments

Rebecca Farley

Director, Policy & Advocacy, National Council for Behavioral Health

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has released a State Medicaid Directors Letter (SMDL) clarifying how the requirements of the 2008 parity law apply to Medicaid expansion plans under the Affordable Care Act. The letter notes that all Medicaid Alternative Benefit plans (including benchmark equivalent and Secretary–approved benchmark plans) are required to meet the law’s parity requirements, regardless of whether services are delivered in managed care or non-managed care arrangements.

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HRSA Announces Funding for Health Center Program’s New Access Points

February 1, 2013 | Uncategorized | Comments

Rebecca Farley

Director, Policy & Advocacy, National Council for Behavioral Health

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has launched the Health Center Program’s New Access Point (NAP) grants that will provide operational support under the Health Center Program to create more access points.

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