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GCS In the News
TURNING UP THE HEAT ON CMMI: At least one health IT group is pressuring CMMI to get specific about implementation plans for a provision in the new legislative opioid package allowing that group to incentivize behavioral health providers to adopt health IT products.
The opioid legislation, which awaits President Donald Trump's signature, describes a demonstration program that could nudge behavioral health centers to use EHRs. The Behavioral Health Information Technology Coalition has asked CMMI for a meeting to discuss the agency's demonstration program on bundled payments for medication-assisted treatment for substance use disorder, according to coalition president and CEO Al Guida.
In a letter to CMMI head Adam Boehler the group argued that updated EHRs could enhance behavioral health providers' ability to combat the opioid crisis, potentially by allowing better e-prescribing. – Politico Morning eHealth - October 16, 2018
On June 12, 2018, the House of Representatives passed HR 3331 on voice vote. Politico called it “the biggest” of the opioid bills. GCS also ushered the Senate companion to pass through unanimous consent earlier this year.
This legislation received favorable coverage from Politico in May and June 2018.
“Probably the biggest was (H.R. 3331 (115)), to extend EHR incentive payments to behavioral health providers. Remember, a similar bill — the Improving Access to Behavioral Health IT Act (S. 1732 (115) ) — passed the Senate in a bipartisan vote earlier this week.” – Politico Morning eHealth - May 10, 2018
— The House voted on a package of 25 bills addressing the opioids crisis Tuesday, part of a broader package slated for approval later this month. For eHealth purposes, Lynn Jenkins's bill (H.R. 3331 (115)) establishing a demonstration program for incentives for behavioral health providers' EHR adoption is probably the most notable of the batch. – Politico Morning eHealth - June 13, 2018
On June 20, 2018, the House of Representatives voted 357-57 on HR 6082, updating a decades-old addiction privacy law to improve substance use patient care coordination. GCS will continue this work with the Senate to pass these provisions into law.
At a White House signing ceremony on Wednesday, October 24, 2018, President Trump signed the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act into law. This legislation includes several provisions GCS actively lobbied on, including behavioral health information technology incentives and the partial repeal of the Institutions of Mental Disease (IMD) rule.
On July 17, 2018, the Senate passed a bill set to delay implementation of Electronic Visit Verification requirements for Medicaid-funded services by a year. Politico reported these efforts have “earned some kudos”.
PRAISE FOR ELECTRONIC VISIT VERIFICATION BILL: The Senate's passage of H.R. 6042 (115) Tuesday night has earned some kudos. The bill, which would delay the implementation of electronic visit verification requirements for a year, has now passed both chambers and is on its way to the President. The requirements pertain to Medicaid-funded services, and would make them use electronic means to verify whether, where and when recipients got their services.
But the timeframe of January 2019 was too tight, the American Network of Community Options and Resources said. The network praised the bipartisan roster of legislators — including Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Chuck Schumer in the upper chamber, and Greg Walden and Frank Pallone in the lower as making the difference.
NBC 4 Washington visited an interactive installation entitled “Psychosis: Changing Perceptions through Art & Science”, as part of the Hearing Voices of Support initiative in the Rayburn House Office Building Foyer at the end of June 2018. GCS worked tirelessly with congressional staff and House security offices in order to facilitate the build-up of this one-of-a-kind experience