Join us on Monday, September 12, at 3 p.m. ET as we celebrate the launch of 988 – the new easy-to-remember number to reach the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline! We will reflect on the monumental accomplishment of the July launch, as well as other 988 successes from the past year. We will be joined by key leaders in the field to discuss the efforts of the National Council for Mental Wellbeing, Vibrant Emotional Health and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to support the launch, lessons learned and the vision for 988 moving forward. Register today!
Last Chance to Submit Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Comments
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently proposed its updates to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) for calendar year 2023 (summary). The proposed rule would: extend certain Medicare telehealth flexibilities adopted during the public health emergency (PHE) for 151 days after its expiration; expand access to substance use disorder (SUD) treatment by allowing Medicare to continue covering several opioid use disorder (OUD) telehealth services furnished by opioid treatment programs (OTPs) and cover services provided by OTP mobile units; permit licensed professional counselors (LPCs) and licensed marriage and family therapists (LMFTs) to perform behavioral health services “incident to” a physician or non-physician practitioner (NPP); and allow behavioral health providers to practice under general supervision (rather than the more restrictive direct supervision) when such services are provided “incident to” the services of a physician or NPP. Comments are due September 6 by 5:00PM EDT.
HHS Announces $79.1 Million in Overdose Prevention Grants
This week, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that $79.1 million in grant funds will be awarded to overdose prevention programs. The announcement comes in coordination with the Biden-Harris Administration’s National Drug Control Strategy, Unity Agenda, and HHS’s Overdose Prevention Strategy. The funding will go to various programs, including: Medication-Assisted Treatment – Prescription Drug and Opioid Addiction (MAT-PDOA) ($32.7 million), First Responders-Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Support Services Act ($14.5 million), Services Grant Program for Residential Treatment for Pregnant and Postpartum Women (PPW)($12.1 million), Targeted Capacity Expansion: Special Projects ($8.2 million), among others.
FDA to Prioritize Policies that Expand SUD Treatments
Commissioner Robert Califf of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently published an article outlining the agency’s priorities, including policies on how to address the overdose crisis. Addressing the rise in overdoses is a priority for the FDA, which will require the agency, according to the Commissioner, to double its efforts to expand access to naloxone, enhance prescriber education efforts, and support the development of new substance use disorder therapies. Commissioner Califf also reinforced the clinical community’s role in addressing the overdose crisis, adding that substance use disorders will be considered in its assessments of public health risks for opioids and other substances.
Webinar on Treatment for Opioid Use Disorders in Rural Areas
Join the Providers Clinical Support System (PCSS) on September 8 at 3:00PM EDT for a webinar discussing the treatment of OUD in rural areas. In particular, this webinar will explore why rural areas have been severely impacted by the overdose epidemic and discuss unique challenges, as well as opportunities to make demonstrable improvements in engaging rural patients with OUD in treatment. Participants will learn about barriers to delivering evidence-based prevention and treatment services for individuals with OUD in rural areas and discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated overdose deaths & created new opportunities for service delivery in rural areas. Register today!
Sign-up for Advocacy Alerts! Are you interested in advocating for policies that expand access to mental health and substance use disorder services? Sign up for National Council advocacy alerts and become part of an engaged network of advocates advancing policy on the federal and state levels. Learn more about our current advocacy efforts here and follow us on Twitter at @NationalCouncil.
HAPPENING ON THE HILL
Observing International Overdose Awareness Week. On August 31, (SAMHSA) observed International Overdose Awareness Day. In 2021 alone, over 100,000 lives were tragically lost to drug overdose, the leading cause of death for people aged 18 to 45 in America today. SAMHSA emphasized its ongoing commitment to overdose awareness, recognizing that support for public education and engagement efforts is key to increasing overdose awareness and prevention. Additionally, President Biden declared August 28 to September 3, 2022 as Overdose Awareness Week.
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