Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week (May 1-7) spotlights the importance of caring for the mental health of children and raising awareness about children’s mental health. Since 2005, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has observed Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day to inform the public of the efficacy of community-based services and to demonstrate how initiatives for children’s mental health promote positive development and resilience. On May 5, SAMHSA will host a virtual event for National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day 2022, with speakers from SAMHSA leadership, to commemorate youth and child mental health and honor peer and family support.
Register for Hill Day at Home 2022
Registration for Hill Day at Home is now open! Join the National Council for a 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.
New Regulations Governing HealthCare.gov Accessibility
Yesterday, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced new regulations that will help consumers compare health insurance plan choices on HealthCare.gov. The 2023 Notice of Benefits and Payment Parameters Final Rule establishes standardized plan options for Qualified Health Plans (QHPs), implements new network adequacy requirements, increases the value of coverage of certain plans, refines the applicable nondiscrimination policy, broadens the Essential Community Provider (ECP) threshold, and streamlines HealthCare.gov operations. See the fact sheet for more details on these new regulations.
CMS Proposes Medicare Enrollment Changes
Last week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule (fact sheet; press release) on Medicare eligibility and enrollment. The proposal would allow individuals signing up during the initial enrollment period (IEP) in May, June, and July to receive coverage sooner. Beneficiaries who enroll in Part A and Part B within three months of their IEP would be able to receive benefits as early as the first day of the following month. CMS is also proposing the creation of five new special enrollment periods (SEP) to expand access to the Medicare program. These SEPs would be designed for individuals who were impacted by an emergency, formerly incarcerated, experienced Medicare coverage termination, or were unable to enroll due to other circumstances. The SEPs would apply to incidents that took place on or after January 1, 2023, and individuals enrolling during the new SEPs would not be subject to the late enrollment penalty (LEP).
Senate Hearing with FDA, Announcement on Safe Disposal of Prescription Opioids
The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) held a hearing this week to examine the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) User Fee Agreements. Senators highlighted the need for better access to treatments for substance use disorders (SUD), with a notable inquiry by Chair of the Committee, Senator Patty Murray (WA), into the FDA’s efforts to address the use of illicit fentanyl-related substances and expand access to high-quality treatments for opioid use disorder and overdose reversal drugs. FDA responded, and recently requested public comments, via the proposed approach to improve safe disposal of prescription opioid, which would provide prepaid mail-back envelopes to outpatient settings and allow patient education by pharmacists on the safe disposal of opioids.
Webinar on Addressing the Opioid Crisis with Smarter Federal Spending
The Bipartisan Policy Center will hold a webinar on Monday, May 2, 2022, to explore strategies for a federal response to the opioid overdose epidemic and how to optimize federal spending to address it. Senator Joe Manchin (WV) will speak at the event, along with a panel discussion that includes experts who have served in Congress, HHS, and the U.S. Surgeon General’s Office. The webinar will take place from 1:00 – 2:00 PM EDT. For more information and to register, click here.
Webinar on Effective Advocacy Meeting Follow Up and Why it’s Important. Remember to register for 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. Additionally, CMF will discuss how strong relationships and trust are built over time through ongoing constituent engagement and consistent follow-up. The webinar will take place on Tuesday, May 3, 2022, from 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM EDT. Register for the webinar here.
HAPPENING ON THE HILL
Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) Director Confirmed. Dr. Yngvild K. Olsen, MD, MPH was recently confirmed by the Senate to serve as the next Director of SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT), after serving as Acting-Director since January. Dr. Olsen has extensive experience in addiction treatment field as a provider in addiction medicine and a general internist. She also has worked to expand access to care and enhance quality of care in local and state government positions and within the field of addiction medicine.
National Telehealth Conference. On May 16-17, HHS and Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) will host the inaugural National Telehealth Conference. Experts and leaders from the field will examine how telehealth has evolved, explore the role telehealth plays in an integrated health care delivery model, and consider the lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants will hear sessions discussing tele-mental health successes, health equity, quality of care, and best practices. Registration for this free, virtual conference is now open.
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