· New provisions on mental health parity, including requiring federal agencies to collaborate to improve mental health parity compliance, reporting on federal parity investigations and a plan to improve federal parity enforcement.
· Authorizes crisis intervention grants for law enforcement and first responders.
· Adds a training program on appropriate information-sharing under HIPAA for health care providers, legal professionals and for individuals and families.
· Creates a grant program to support ACT programs.
· Provides grant programs to enhance crisis response services and to develop psychiatric inpatient and residential bed tracking.
· Creates an Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee to improve outcomes for people with mental illness, including reducing incarceration and homelessness and increasing employment.
· Promotes integration of care by permitting Medicaid billing of primary care and mental health or substance use services provided the same day in the same facility (known as same-day billing).
· Encourages workforce development in rural areas by including mental health professionals in the National Health Service Corps loan repayment programs.
· Provides grants to train the peer professional workforce, including peer support specialists and recovery coaches.
· Requires that the Secretary of Health and Human Services create an independent grievance procedure for complaints against PAIMIs (there is already a grievance process, but it is not necessarily independent) and prohibits use of federal funds to lobby (current law). Previous bill restrictions on the scope of PAIMI work have been removed.
· Extends existing AOT grant program, but eliminates the previous 2% mental health block grant increase to incentivize AOT laws.
· Replaces previous language on HIPAA with a “Sense of Congress” that outlines need for clarity regarding HIPAA, but does not change the law. Requires the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to issue final regulations within 1 year to clarify circumstances in which a health care provider may share protected health information.
· Allows Medicaid managed care organizations (MCOs) to pay for short-term stays (no more than 15 days per month) of adults ages 21-65 in psychiatric hospitals and facilities (known as IMD exclusion). This provision codifies what is in recently released Medicaid managed care rule.
· Creates a new Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use that will elevate the position of SAMHSA in the Administration. The bill also permits the appointment of a Deputy Assistant Secretary. The new Assistant Secretary will be required to be a mental health professional, rather than permitting a lawyer or other professional to lead the agency.
Get involved early. Watch what the legislative workgroup is watching.
- go to the website, www.namicalifornia.org
- see current and past NAMI CAN! alerts – in the middle of the website Home page, at the top;
- see the Legislation page – scroll down the page titles on the left side of the Home page;
- for the bills, click on the Bill List tab; the entire bill or its history or its status – click on the highlighted bill number, e.g. AB 39;
- a bill that is not on NAMI California’s list – go to www.leginfo.ca.gov/bilinfo.html
You may also follow a bill yourself by going to the bottom right corner of that screen and clicking on Subscription List. Just fill in the requested information and you will receive an e-mail every time the bill’s status changes.
For other questions about the advocacy process, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
NAMI California Advocacy Network
1010 Hurley Way, Suite 195
Sacramento, CA, 95811