Advocacy E-News August 3, 2017
August 3, 2017
N.J. ASSEMBLY VOTES TO BLOCK CHRISTIE’S OVERHAUL OF BEHAVIORAL HEALTH CARE
With a deadline for lawmakers to act creeping closer, one half of the New Jersey Legislature voted Monday to block Gov. Chris Christie from reorganizing a pair of billion-dollar state agencies. The Democratic-controlled state Assembly voted 42-25 to pass the resolution to stop the Republican governor’s proposal to move mental health and addiction services out of the state Department of Human Services and into the state Department of Health.
CHRISTIE COMMISSION ISSUES REPORT
President Donald Trump should declare a national emergency and put the federal government fully behind efforts to curb opioid addiction, according to a preliminary report by the commission chaired by Gov. Chris Christie. The report recommended that the Trump administration allow all 50 states to use Medicaid funds for treatment in facilities with more than 16 beds, now prohibited under the program. Rescinding this “IMD exclusion” on psychiatric hospital beds has been a longtime NAMI priority. The report also recommends enforcing requirements that health plans provide the same level of services for those with mental health and substance abuse issues as for those with physical health issues.
BERGEN REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER SECURES NEW OPERATOR
After months of searching, the county has secured a new operator for Bergen Regional Medical Center, NorthJersey.com reported. Care Plus Bergen, a non-profit formed by Care Plus NJ and Integrity House, will reportedly take over the daily operations on October 1. Rutgers University will be subcontracted to provide a number of clinical services at the medical centerThe Paramus hospital provides long-term behavioral health and acute term care. Care Plus is planning on renaming the hospital, according to the report.
SECRETARY FOR MENTAL HEALTH AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE NOMINEE DECLARES “WE MUST WORK WITH FAMILIES”
Dr. Elinore McCance-Katz testified before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee at her long-awaited confirmation hearing on her nomination to be the first assistant secretary for mental health and substance use.
In her prepared remarks Dr. McCance-Katz declared “We must also work to include the families of those with serious mental illness in the discussion of their loved one’s needs. If confirmed, I would look forward to working with Congress and stakeholder groups on how to share information urgently needed to assure care and safety of a person while also paying attention to their privacy rights.”