FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
On June 3, 2020 the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the United States Senate Committee on Finance and the United States House of Representatives Committee on Energy & Commerce sent a letter to the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Alex Azar, asking for a dedicated distribution from the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund (PHSSEF) for Medicaid-dependent providers and expressing concerns over the ongoing delay in funding. The letter highlights the immediate needs of Medicaid-dependent providers, noting their status as safety net providers for vulnerable populations and thin margins under which they operate. Congress has, through two COVID relief bills, appropriated $175 billion for providers in the PHSSEF – tens of billions of which remain unallocated.
“Community behavioral health organizations remain under incredible financial strain as a result of the pandemic. Delays in federal relief funds have exacerbated the fiscal pressures they face,” National Council for Behavioral Health President and CEO Chuck Ingoglia said. “Mental illness and addiction aren’t going away in America. They are getting worse as a result of the pandemic. Today, America is on the verge of another public health crisis – a behavioral health care crisis. The sooner behavioral health care providers have access to the relief fund Congress has appropriated, the sooner they can prepare to meet the challenge.”
The National Council for Behavioral Health would like to express our sincere thanks to Senators Grassley (R-Iowa) and Wyden (D-Oregon) and Congressmen Pallone (D-New Jersey) and Walden (R-Oregon) for their continued efforts to highlight the immediate needs of Medicaid-dependent behavioral health providers across the nation. A dedicated distribution from the PHSSEF and a timeline indicating when providers can expect a disbursement of funds will be crucial to ensuring that behavioral health providers can continue to provide critical services to the millions of Americans in need.
About the National Council for Behavioral Health
The National Council for Behavioral Health is the unifying voice of America’s health care organizations that deliver mental health and addictions treatment and services. Together with our 3,326 member organizations serving over 10 million adults, children and families living with mental illnesses and addictions, the National Council is committed to all Americans having access to comprehensive, high-quality care that affords every opportunity for recovery. The National Council introduced Mental Health First Aid USA and more than 2 million Americans have been trained.