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Archive: September 2015

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.

HHS Announces Effort to Revise Patient Caps for Buprenorphine Prescribers

September 24, 2015 | Addictions | Workforce | Comments

Michael Petruzzelli

Manager, Policy and Advocacy, National Council for Behavioral Health

Earlier this month, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) held a two-day, 50-state convening of state representatives to identify needed federal policy changes to prevent opioid overdose and abuse. During the course of the discussion, HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell announced the agency’s intention to revise current caps limiting the number of patients that can be seen by buprenorphine prescribers.

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New Legislation in the House would Eliminate Mandatory Minimums

September 24, 2015 | Justice | Comments

Michael Petruzzelli

Manager, Policy and Advocacy, National Council for Behavioral Health

A new bill introduced in the House of Representatives would eliminate all mandatory minimum prison sentences for individuals convicted of violating drug laws. The Mandatory Minimum Reform Act (H.R. 3530), introduced by the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Financial Services, Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA), has 9 original cosponsors. The introduction of this measure is the latest in a growing number of criminal justice reform efforts this Congress.

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Countdown to Shutdown? A Congressional Appropriations Update as the Deadline Draws Near

September 24, 2015 | Federal Budget | Comments

Michael Petruzzelli

Manager, Policy and Advocacy, National Council for Behavioral Health

With the clock ticking toward the September 30 deadline when funding for the federal government runs dry, lawmakers are in the final stretch as they seek to hatch a strategy to avert a government shutdown. The Senate started the ball rolling on Wednesday, when Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Thad Cochran (R-MS) introduced a continuing resolution (CR) that would provide level funding for the government through December 11.

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26th Annual Recovery Month Luncheon Commences Recovery Month

September 17, 2015 | Addictions | Comments

Jessica Friedel

National Council for Behavioral Health

Last Thursday, the 26th Annual Recovery Month Luncheon was held at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, DC. Hosted by the National Council for Behavioral Health, Young People in Recovery, Transforming Youth Recovery, and the Association of Recovery Schools, the event served as a celebration of past achievements and the growing national momentum for changes to come.

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HHS Issues Proposed Rule to Prevent Discrimination in Health Care

September 17, 2015 | Employers & Business Practices | Comments

Michael Petruzzelli

Manager, Policy and Advocacy, National Council for Behavioral Health

Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a proposed rule aimed at prevention of discriminatory practices in health care. The proposed regulations, issued by the Office of Civil Rights, aim to advance the efforts of health equity through the Affordable Care Act by prohibiting discrimination in health care on the basis of race, ethnicity, sex, age, or disability.

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House Passes Legislation to Strengthen Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs

September 10, 2015 | Opioid and Heroin Epidemic | Comments

Rebecca Farley

Director, Policy & Advocacy, National Council for Behavioral Health

The U.S. House this week voted to reauthorize a program that helps states monitor the dispensing of opioid painkillers and other controlled substances. First established in 2005, the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program uses prescribing data to track potentially problematic patterns in the use and/or prescribing of these drugs.

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2,500 Organizations Call on Congress to End Sequestration, Raise Spending Caps

September 10, 2015 | Federal Budget | Comments

Rebecca Farley

Director, Policy & Advocacy, National Council for Behavioral Health

Just weeks before severe budget cuts stopped by a 2013 Congressional budget deal are scheduled to go back into effect, more than 2,500 national, state and local organizations are calling on Congress to avoid the impending fiscal crisis and end the cuts (known as “sequestration”). The letter, which the National Council signed, was circulated by NDD United, a coalition of organizations spanning interests as varied as education, public health, infrastructure, and law enforcement.

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National Council Releases Details on Addictions Track for Hill Day

September 3, 2015 | Addictions | Hill Day | Comments

Rebecca Farley

Director, Policy & Advocacy, National Council for Behavioral Health

At Hill Day 2015, October 5-6, 2015, you’ll get the inside scoop on policy trends that are reshaping the way addiction providers do business. Join us to hear from federal officials, national policy experts and health plans about their vision for the future of addiction care—and what we need to do to get there.

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