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Policy

Coronavirus
The Mental Health Liaison Group has asked CMS that the flexibilities around telehealth it enacted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic be extended one year after the emergency period is declared over to evaluate the potential for certain changes to become permanent.
Coronavirus
Ron Manderscheid, Executive Director, NACBHDD and NARMH
It is ironic that deinstitutionalization from state psychiatric hospitals and decarceration from city and county jails—major objectives long sought by the behavioral health community—have turned into significant problems in the COVID-19 era.
Policy/Advocacy
Advocacy group Shatterproof says a pair of bills introduced in the House that would remove the separate waiver required for prescribing buprenorphine and set baseline requirements around preventing addiction and working with patients with OUD should be revisited in light of COVID-19.
Trends
Methamphetamine use and polysubstance use are creating new challenges in the nation’s substance use disorder crisis, Admiral Brett Giroir, MD, assistant secretary of HHS, said on Wednesday.
Policy
Three members of Congress expressed cautious optimism about the nation’s drug overdose death rates dropping, but added that neither those numbers nor the COVID-19 crisis are a reason to throttle back the nation’s response now.
Coronavirus
Ron Manderscheid, Executive Director, NACBHDD and NARMH
The National Association of County Behavioral Health & Developmental Disability Directors held town hall meetings with members to understand the impact of the coronavirus crisis on behavioral healthcare and to identify the urgent needs of the behavioral health field that must be placed before Congress.
Coronavirus
Provisions in the recently signed Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act include funds for SAMHSA programs, small business loans and money for investing in telehealth technology.
Coronavirus
Ron Manderscheid, Executive Director, NACBHDD and NARMH
Times of crisis require bold action. Three recent pieces of legislation reflect the depth of the coronavirus crisis and the dramatic nature of our national response.
Legislation
Aimed at improving the sharing of patients’ substance use history between providers, the Protecting Jessica Grubb’s Legacy Act would require patient consent and protect patients from SUD-related discrimination.
Policy
A final ruling by a U.S. district judge has cleared the way for not-for-profit Safehouse to open a supervised injection facility in South Philadelphia, the first such facility to legally operate in the United States.
Policy
The office of Massachusetts attorney general Maura Healey this week announced that the state has reached agreements with five health insurers and two companies that manage behavioral health coverage based on investigations of potential parity law violations.
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