Yesterday, the White House released its 2022 National Drug Control Strategy, which outlines a comprehensive path forward to addressing substance use disorder and the overdose epidemic. The strategy focuses on both untreated substance use disorder and drug trafficking. The report focuses significant attention on harm reduction and access to Buprenorphine as well as suggesting the expansion of the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic model and substance use disorder services in Federally Qualified Health Centers as an avenue to build the treatment workforce and infrastructure. The Fact Sheet is available here and the full Strategy here.
- HHS Awards Nearly $105 Million to States and Territories to Strengthen Crisis Call Centers
- CDC Publishes Technical Package on Increasing Access to OUD Treatment
- Register for Hill Day at Home 2022
- HHS to Launch Community Health Worker Training Program, Funding Opportunity
- The Biden Administration Announces Actions to Lessen the Burden of Medical Debt and Increase Consumer Protection
HHS Awards Nearly $105M to Strengthen Crisis Call Centers
The Biden Administration announced this week that states and territories will receive funds to support crisis call centers in advance of the July launch of 988, the three-digit dialing code for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. This funding could help improve response rates, increase capacity, and ensure calls are routed to local, regional, or state call centers. Additionally, these funds may be used to help build the workforce necessary for enhancing local text and chat response services. These grants are intended to meet states at their varying levels of operational readiness and to support their specific needs.
CDC Publishes Technical Package on Increasing Access to OUD Treatment
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published a new technical package for increasing access to opioid-use disorder (OUD) treatment, “Linking People with Opioid Use Disorder to Medication Treatment: A Technical Package of Policy, Programs, and Practices.” The technical package, intended for medical professionals, policymakers, and local leaders, provides a step-by-step process for initiating OUD treatment. Seven opportunities are presented to effectively link people to OUD care from touchpoints such as primary care settings, emergency departments, inpatient hospitalization, syringe service programs, and prenatal and postpartum care. Further, the technical package includes best practices for different populations, including recently incarcerated persons, adolescents, people living with past trauma, and more.
Registration for Hill Day at Home is now open! Join the National Council for our free virtual learning event on Wednesday, June 8, to hear key leaders discuss the latest mental health and substance use policy developments from Capitol Hill and the White House. Discover new strategies for maximizing your advocacy, contact your elected officials to support critical policy initiatives, celebrate peers receiving our Advocacy Leadership Awards, and more! Questions? Contact us.
HHS to Launch Community Health Worker Training Program, Funding Opportunity
The Community Health Worker Training Program, a new grant program funded through the American Rescue Plan (ARP), aims to increase the number of community-based health workers (CHWs) through education and on-the-job training. CHWs play a critical role in connecting people to mental health and substance use disorder prevention, treatment, and recovery services. In particular, the program seeks to increase the number of CHWs and bolster the skills needed to connect with communities, build trust, support connections to care, and retain care. The grant program is open to health profession schools, academic health centers, state and local governments, tribal entities, community health centers, and Federal Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs),
Biden Administration Announces Actions to Lessen the Burden of Medical Debt and Increase Consumer Protection
In an announcement last week, the Biden Administration stated that it will take new actions focused on protecting consumers and lessening the burden of medical debt on Americans. Specifically, HHS will evaluate how provider billing practices impact access and affordability of care through data supplied by providers. Additional efforts by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) will investigate illegal and harmful collection practices and inform consumers of their rights. The Administration highlighted in its announcement the negative health impacts medical debt can have, citing a study that found almost half of individuals with medical debt intentionally avoided needed care.
Webinar on Effective Advocacy Meeting Follow Up and Why it’s Important. Prepare for Hill Day at Home 2022 by joining the Congressional Management Foundation’s (CMF) newest webinar on effective meeting follow-up with lawmakers. Participants will learn impactful methods for following up after meetings with legislators and tips for turning a good meeting into a strong relationship with Members of Congress and their staff. CMF will discuss how strong relationships and trust are built over time through ongoing constituent engagement and consistent follow-up. For more information and to register, click here.
HAPPENING ON THE HILL
Bipartisan Group of Lawmakers Urge Naloxone Manufacturers to Apply for OTC Status. In a series of letters, a bipartisan group of lawmakers urged seven naloxone manufacturers to apply for over-the-counter (OTC) status from the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) for their products. The legislators argue that OTC status will help save lives and increase access to naloxone, an opioid overdose reversal medication. This call to action comes after the COVID-19 pandemic tragically exacerbated the overdose and substance use disorder crises. Notably, between April 2020 and April 2021, more than 100,000 people died from an overdose in the United States.
Public Health Emergency Extended. Secretary Xavier Becerra of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced an extension of the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) for an additional 90 days. Effective April 16, 2022,this extension marks the continuation of several temporary authorities afforded under the PHE. Read a summary outlining the Medicare- and Medicaid-specific flexibilities afforded under the COVID-19 PHE.