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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

National Council Calls for Permanent Extension of Telehealth in Medicare, and More

July 30, 2021 | Uncategorized | Comments
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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announced the availability of $103 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding to reduce burnout and support the mental health of the health workforce. Three funding opportunities are now accepting applications and will be open until August 30, 2021.

 

House Works on FY22 Appropriations

This week, the House passed a seven-bill “minibus”, which serves as a vehicle for a number of National Council priorities for FY2022, including, Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (summary). This leaves only the Homeland Security and Defense appropriations bills as the outstanding items on the lower chamber’s government funding agenda. Appropriations legislation will then move to the Senate.

 

National Council Joins 429 Stakeholders in Calling for Permanent Extension of Telehealth in Medicare

This week, the National Council joined 429 other stakeholders calling for Congress to permanently extend telehealth flexibilities in Medicare. The letter to House and Senate leadership specifically urged Congress: 1) Remove restrictions on the location of the patient and provider; 2) Maintain and enhance HHS authority to determine appropriate providers, services, and modalities for telehealth; 3) Ensure FQHCs, Critical Access Hospitals, and Rural Health Clinics can furnish telehealth services after the public health emergency, and; 4) Remove restrictions on Medicare beneficiary access to mental health and substance use services offered through telehealth.

 

Register: Roadmap to the Ideal Crisis System

Recent statistics have shown suicide rates increasing and drug overdose deaths reaching all-time highs. Together, these crises have overtaken traffic accidents as the leading causes of death among young Americans ages 25-44. Join the American Association of Suicidology (AAS) and the National Council on Thursday, August 26 from 2-3pm ET to learn how we can prevent more deaths and facilitate better crisis outcomes by reimagining the structure of our crisis response systems.

 

ADVOCACY CORNER

Take Action. Since launching in 2017, Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs) have dramatically increased access to comprehensive, community-based mental health and substance use disorder treatment. The Excellence in Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Act (H.R. 4323/S. 2069) would allow all states to participate in the CCBHC demonstration and authorizes funding for current grantees. We need your help to ensure access to high-quality mental health and substance use care across the nation. Contact your legislators today and urge them to cosponsor and pass the Excellence in Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Act.

 

HAPPENING ON THE HILL

National Council Supports Overdose Awareness Day. The National Council, along with other organizations in the Coalition to Stop Opioid Overdose, recently sent a letter to Representative Trahan endorsing her legislation H.R. 349, to lower flags on all Federal buildings to half-staff annually in recognition of Overdose Awareness Day on August 31.

 

House Committee Passes Substance Use Bills. This week, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce held a hearing to deliberate 24 health-related bills, ranging from opioid response and maternal health to vaccines and cybersecurity. All legislation was approved by voice vote. The bills under the markup’s purview included: The Drug-Free Communities Pandemic Relief Act (H.R. 654), The Methamphetamine Response Act of 2021 (H.R. 2051), The State Opioid Response Grant Authorization Act of 2021 (H.R. 2379), The Synthetic Opioid Danger Awareness Act (H.R. 2364), and The Opioid Prescription Verification Act of 2021 (H.R. 2355).