COVID-19 Telehealth Grants, Updated Buprenorphine Guidelines


This week, the Census Bureau released the 2020 population counts for congressional apportionment over the next decade. The following states gained a congressional seat: Colorado, Florida, Montana, North Carolina, Oregon, and Texas. Consequently, the following states lost a congressional seat: California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

Apply Now: $250 M in Telehealth Grants

Yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) opened its second phase of the COVID-19 Telehealth Program with an additional $250 million available to eligible providers, including community mental health and substance use organizations. Organizations are strongly encouraged to apply for the grants that may be used to fund technology and equipment to bolster service delivery via telehealth. The application will close at 12:00pm ET on May 6, 2021. Read more and reach out here with any specific questions on the application process.

HHS Updates Buprenorphine Guidelines

On Tuesday, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra released new buprenorphine practice guidelines, allowing for eligible prescribers to treat up to 30 patients with buprenorphine. Practice Guidelines for the Administration of Buprenorphine for Treating Opioid Use Disorder identifies the process for expanding access to this needed medication and removing barriers in an effort to decrease overdose deaths.

HHS Video Series on OUD Disability Rights

HHS, the Office for Civil Rights, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the Administration for Children and Families, and the National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare recently partnered to introduce a new video series “Civil Rights Protections for Individuals in Recovery from an Opioid Use Disorder [OUD]”. The video series provides information on the application of federal disability rights laws to child welfare programs and individuals in recovery from an OUD.

NatCon21 Starts on Monday – Last Chance to Register

More than 350 speakers, 150 presentations, 60 exhibitors and 6,000 peers await you at NatCon21, which kicks off on Monday – register while you still can! Join us live online from May 3-5 and then access our curriculum – 175+ hours of premium content – all month long. Stick around for a BIG announcement from the National Council on May 5!


Advocacy Tip of the Week: Share Good News with Congressional Staff. Did you receive a new grant? Open a new location? Start a new program? Touch base with your legislator’s health staffers and give them a brief update. This helps keep your relationship positive and keeps you on their radar.


Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use Nominated. President Biden recently nominated Dr. Miriam E. Delphin-Rittmon as Assistant Secretary Mental Health and Substance Use at the Department of Health and Human Services. She was appointed as Commissioner of the Connecticut State Department Mental Health and Addiction Services in 2015, and previously held the positions of Deputy Commissioner, Senior Policy Advisor and Director of the department’s Office of Multicultural Health Equity.

Senate HELP Addresses Mental Health and SUD. This week, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions (HELP) Committee held a hearing examining how best to use lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic to address mental health and substance use disorders. Senators from both sides of the aisle stressed the importance of telehealth in expanding access to behavioral health services, as well as the need to increase the behavioral health care workforce.

Guest Author

Malka Berro
Policy Associate