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Archive: Employers & Business Practices

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.

In Case You Missed It: Webinars on MACRA and the Overtime Rule

Michael Petruzzelli

Manager, Policy and Advocacy, National Council for Behavioral Health

Over the last month, the National Council has hosted a number of important and informative webinars on key topics that directly affect the work of our members: the Department of Labor’s raising of the overtime salary threshold and the implementation of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015. If you were unable to participate in them live, don’t worry – we have recordings! Click here for more.

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National Council Hosts Addictions and Vocation Briefing on Capitol Hill

Lea Simms

Behavioral Health Policy and Practice Intern

On the heels of Hill Day, the National Council, on Tuesday, hosted a congressional staff briefing addressing the importance of offering employment services simultaneous to addiction treatment. The diverse panel represented nonprofit, public, and privately-funded treatment centers giving the packed audience of congressional staffers insight into how funding and recovery services can be replicated in their states. Using case studies and client stories, the speakers highlighted the stability that employment provides and the importance of holistic treatment for reintegration into the community.

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New Mexico Behavioral Health Providers Cleared of Fraud Allegations

Jacquelyn Sommer

Last week in New Mexico, the state Attorney General, Hector Balderas, cleared the last two of 15 behavioral health providers of allegations of Medicaid fraud. The 13 other providers were cleared earlier this year. The move came after several years of investigation, in which Medicaid payments to the affected agencies were halted and many were forced to close their doors.

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CMS Final Rule Outlines Process to Ensure Meaningful Access to Medicaid Services

Michael Petruzzelli

Manager, Policy and Advocacy, National Council for Behavioral Health

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule this week aimed at strengthening Medicaid beneficiaries’ access to essential health care services. The rule establishes a framework for CMS to make better informed, data-driven decisions for both patients and providers. In particular, it focuses on the direct impact provider reimbursement has on patients’ ability to receive services. CMS is accepting comments on the rule until it goes into effect on January 4, 2016.

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2015 Connect 4 Mental Health Awardees Announced

Ali Siemianowski

Communication Specialist, National Council for Behavioral Health

The Connect 4 Mental Health Community Innovation Awards recognize organizations introducing novel approaches to address mental health in early intervention, creative use of technology, continuity of care and service integration. The recently announced winning organizations for 2015 receive a $10,000 grant and join previous awardees to facilitate best practices.

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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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National Council Issues Resource Explaining Proposed Overtime Exemption Rules

Rebecca Farley

Director, Policy & Advocacy, National Council for Behavioral Health

The National Council today released a slide deck to help employers understand the impact of new proposed rules that would extend overtime pay to 5 million previously ineligible workers. The proposed rule change, announced in June, would extend overtime pay exemption rules to include employees making up to $50,440 next year, more than double the current threshold.

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Department of Labor Proposes to Extend Overtime Pay to Currently Exempt Workers

Jenni Muns

Policy Associate, National Council for Behavioral Health

The Department of Labor (DOL) has proposed extending its overtime pay exemption rules to include employees making up to $50,440 next year, a change that could affect up to 5 million workers. Under the new proposal, the salary threshold for overtime pay would rise to $970 per week ($50,440 per year) in 2016. The current level of $455 per week ($23,660) was established in 2004, and it is below the poverty line for a family of four.

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SAMHSA Releases New Guidance on Medication Assisted Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder

Michael Petruzzelli

Manager, Policy and Advocacy, National Council for Behavioral Health

New guidance for expanding the use of medication-assisted treatment was issued last week by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA). The tool aims to help providers expand access to treatment for those living with alcohol dependence or abuse. Produced in partnership with the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the guidance provides additional information on medications used to treat alcohol use disorder.

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House Holds Hearing on ICD-10 Transition: Green Light for 2015

Nancy Htay

Policy Intern

Last week, the House of Representatives’ Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing on implementation of ICD-10 and readiness to transition to the new code set on October 1, 2015. The general sentiment? Green light.

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House Approves Bill to Change ACA Full-Time Employee Definition

Michael Petruzzelli

Manager, Policy and Advocacy, National Council for Behavioral Health

Last Thursday, the House voted 252-172 to approve legislation (H.R. 30) that would change the definition of full-time employees under the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) employer mandate from those who work 30 hours per week to 40 hours per week. All Republican members and a dozen Democrats voted in favor of the bill.

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IRS Outlines Draft Employer Mandate Compliance Requirements

Rebecca Farley

Director, Policy & Advocacy, National Council for Behavioral Health

Last Thursday, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) posted draft forms that businesses will have to complete in order to comply with the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that certain employers offer health insurance to their employees, known as the “employer mandate.” Final drafts and detailed instructions for the forms are expected to be released in the coming months. The employer mandate applies to most organizations – including healthcare provider organizations – with more than 50 full-time employees, defined as employees who work 30 hours per week or more.

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BHbusiness is Now BHbusiness Plus: Helping You Make Business Change

Mohini Venkatesh

Senior Director Public Policy, National Council for Behavioral Health

The need for strong business operations has never been more critical for behavioral health providers. That’s why BHbusiness Plus helps organizations expand capacity and thrive in the new healthcare environment.

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White House Announces Another Delay of Employer Mandate

Rebecca Farley

Director, Policy & Advocacy, National Council for Behavioral Health

Responding to ongoing concerns from the business community about the burden on employers, the White House this week announced yet another partial delay of the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that most employers offer health insurance to their employees or face penalties.

The employer mandate, as it is known, applies only to large employers (those with more than 50 employees) and requires businesses to provide health insurance for full time workers (defined as those working more than 30 hours per week).

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The ACA’s Employer Mandate Explained: Alliance for Health Reform Toolkit

employer mandate toolkit

Rebecca Farley

Director, Policy & Advocacy, National Council for Behavioral Health

Beginning in 2015, most large employers will have to offer health insurance to their employees or face a fine. The “employer mandate,” as it is known, applies to organizations with more than 50 full-time employees, defined as employees who work 30 hours per week or more.

The Alliance for Health Reform has released a new toolkit outlining key facts, data, and resources about the ACA’s employer mandate. If you’re an employer with more than 50 full-time employees, here are three important facts that you need to know:

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