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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.

Malka Berro

Policy Associate

Loan Repayment Applications Open, New CMHC Grant

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BREAKING NEWS

This week, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announced a new Community Mental Health Centers (CMHC) Grant Program to help providers bridge the service delivery gap. Read more and apply by May 21, 2021.

 

CARA 3.0 Introduced

Senators Portman (R-OH) Whitehouse (D-RI), Capito (R-WV), Klobuchar (D-MN), and Shaheen (D-NH) recently introduced the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) 3.0, which would authorize $785 million toward substance use prevention, treatment, criminal justice, and recovery programs. The legislation prohibits states from requiring prior authorization for medication-assisted treatment (MAT) under Medicaid, permanently allows providers to prescribe MAT via audio-only telehealth after criteria are met, removes limits on the number of patients a physician can treat with buprenorphine and methadone, and creates a pilot program to study mobile methadone clinics in rural and underserved areas. Read the section-by-section summary for more details.

 

National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program

Three National Health Service Corps (NHSC) programs recently opened their application cycles for up to $100,000 in assistance. The NHSC Loan Repayment Program (LRP), the NHSC Substance Use Disorder Workforce LRP, and the NHSC Rural Community LRP applications will remain open until May 6, 2021 at 7:30pm ET. Get assistance with your application and attend the NHSC LRP Q&A Sessions on Tuesday, April 20 and Tuesday, May 4 from 9am to 5pm ET. This year, $15 million of awards are dedicated to clinicians working at Indian Health Service facilities, Tribally-Operated 638 Health Programs, and Urban Indian Health Programs.

 

NatCon Session: Delivering Advocacy Results

At the NatCon21 session Delivering Advocacy Results in a Virtual World, we will explore what influences policymakers, identify practical strategies for crafting compelling messages and learn how to communicate with legislators and their staff for maximum influence and impact. Learn about best practices for virtual advocacy, techniques for engaging policymakers at all levels, and how to effectively tell your story with a legislator. Register by April 19 and save $100!

 

Federal Funding Can Be Used to Purchase Fentanyl Test Strips

This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and SAMHSA announced that federal grantees can purchase rapid fentanyl test strips (FTS) in an effort to reduce the rapidly growing overdose crisis. Grantees in the CDC’s Overdose Data to Action program and SAMHSA’s State Opioid Response (SOR) grant program can now use program funding to purchase FTS.

 

ADVOCACY CORNER

Take Action: Behavioral Health Funding. Legislators on Capitol Hill have already begun deciding which programs to prioritize funding for in the federal government’s Fiscal Year 2022 budget. We need your help to make sure that your organizations and the programs you support get the funding necessary to continue providing high-quality care amidst a growing national mental health and substance use crisis. Write your legislators on these key issues today.

 

HAPPENING ON THE HILL

Presidential Budget Request. This morning, President Biden released his discretionary budget request for fiscal year 2022. Stay tuned to Capitol Connector next week for a full summary.