Advocacy E-News May 12, 2017
May 12, 2017
TRUMP’S PICK TO RUN MENTAL HEALTH IS POISED TO SHAKE THINGS UP
President Trump’s pick to run federal mental health services has called for a bold reordering of priorities — shifting money away from education and support services and toward a more aggressive treatment of patients with severe psychiatric disorders. The proposal has some psychiatrists — a generally liberal bunch — cheering despite their distrust of the Trump administration.
CHRISTIE SIGNS FEE FOR SERVICE OVERSIGHT BILL
Christie said the bill requires the establishment of two oversight boards to monitor the state’s transition to a Medicaid-based fee-for-service reimbursement model for mental health and substance use disorder treatment services, and for community-based services for individuals with developmental disabilities. It also requires the state to retain a contractor to perform an independent evaluation of these transitions.
CBS EVENING NEWS EXAMINES THE STATE OF MENTAL HEALTH CARE
Battles with insurance companies became constant for NAMI NJ member Rocky and her husband. Both sons have had numerous rounds of outpatient and inpatient psychiatric and addiction care over the last six years, and Rocky’s out-of-pocket expenses have exceeded $300,000.
VETERANS COURT A START, BUT DOESN’T HELP THOSE WHO NEED IT MOST
Gov. Christie signed an important, bipartisan bill this week designed to help nonviolent veterans who are grappling with mental health challenges, rather than sending them to jail. The voluntary initiative, dubbed the “Veterans Diversion Program,” will find state officials working with their federal counterparts to connect eligible service members with appropriate existing healthcare programs. What it doesn’t do, some critics argue, is address the more serious types of crimes veterans sometimes become involved in.
G.O.P. BILL COULD AFFECT EMPLOYER HEALTH COVERAGE, TOO
If it becomes law, the American Health Care Act will have the biggest effects on people who buy their own insurance or get coverage through Medicaid. But it also means changes for the far larger employer health system. It is possible, through the interaction between the health bill and current regulations, that employers would be able to skirt rules that forbid them from limiting the total amount of health care they will pay for in a year or a worker’s lifetime.