>>Guide Consulting Services organized numerous Capitol Hill Days for advocates and executives, resulting in over 60 bipartisan Congressional and Senate legislative co-sponsors per event
- Craft concise and calculated advocacy message
- Train Advocates and Executives on messaging and meeting strategy
- Schedule meetings with advocates/executives’ Congressional Staff/Members
- Secure no-to-low cost venues on Capitol Hill for Message Training
- Develop agendas and meeting-specific talking points
- Manage day-of logistics management, registration, and troubleshooting
- Follow-up with all offices after Hill Day
Department of Defense’s Peer-Reviewed Medical Research Program
>>Eating disorders becomes new topic area for research funding to help our military members and their families, expected $3-$5 million in funding.
For Fiscal Year 2017, Guide Consulting Services led the charge for eating disorders to be eligible for research funding through the Department of Defense’s Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program’s (CDMRP) Peer-Reviewed Medical Research Program (PRMRP). Under the PRMRP funding stream, an expected $3-$5 million dollars will become available for eating disorders research specifically designed to help military members and their families affected by the illness.
The CDMRP supports research across the full range of science and medicine, with an underlying goal of enhancing the health and well-being of military servicemembers, veterans, retirees, and their family members. In the United States, 30 million Americans experience a clinically significant eating disorder during their lifetime. Research has shown that there is a higher prevalence rate for eating disorders among military servicemembers than the civilian population.
Passing Historic Eating Disorders Legislation
>> This achievement represented the first time in history that Congress passed eating disorder specific legislation.
The Eating Disorders Coalition hired Guide Consulting Services in early 2015 with the objective of advancing eating disorders specific legislation to help early identify eating disorders and increase access to treatment.
GCS drafted the Anna Westin Act of 2016 (H.R. 2515/S. 1865), secured bipartisan bill sponsorship, led grassroots activism and partnership development, and navigated the legislation from introduction to passage, being signed into law by President Obama on December 13, 2016 with the 21st Century Cures Act.
Department of Labor Overtime Ruling
>> Secured an implementation delay for Medicaid-funded home and community based service workers under the DOL Overtime Rule.
Guide Consulting Services successfully secured an implementation delay for Medicaid-funded home and community based service workers under the recently finalized DOL Overtime Rule. The DOL Overtime Rule increases the salary threshold under which virtually all workers are guaranteed time-and-a-half pay whenever they work more than 40 hours in any given week.
While the wage increase is welcomed by Medicaid-funded home and community based service providers, a Medicaid reimbursement increase will be needed to offset the increase provider compliance costs.
However, the process of Medicaid funding increases can take up to three years for state governments to approve into law. The recent success by Guide Consulting Services provides additional implementation time for Medicaid-funded home and community based providers and state Medicaid agencies to adjust Medicaid funding in order to offset the costs of the new DOL Overtime Rule.
Excellence in Mental Health Act
>> Won passage of $1.1 billion Excellence in Mental Health Act.
GCS’s client, the National Council for Behavioral Health, sought to improve Medicaid reimbursement for and increasing access to community mental health and substance use treatment services for people with serious mental illnesses.
On March 31, 2014, GCS helped to secure passage of the bipartisan Protecting Access to Medicare Act (H.R. 4302) which included a $1.1 billion dollar state demonstration program based on the Excellence in Mental Health Act.
The Excellence in Mental Health Act increased Americans’ access to Community Behavioral Health Clinics while improving Medicaid reimbursement for community mental health care – with the goal of reducing hospitalizations, nursing home placements, homelessness and incarceration for low-income persons living with conditions like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major clinical depression.
The passage of the legislation was notable because in the 113th Congress, there were few, if any, bills passed into law on any subject matter, much less major new investments in the public mental health system.
Public Service Advertising Campaign
>> PSAs resulted in more than 23 million web hits and 270,000 anti-stigma brochures.
The 1999 White House Conference on Mental Health created the National Mental Health Awareness Campaign (NMHAC) to fight the social stigma associated with mental illnesses.
As Executive Director of NMHAC, Al Guida managed a process that resulted in the “Change Your Mind” public service advertising campaign that aired on MTV Music Television and other cable and broadcast networks.
The ads generated more than 23 million hits on NoStigma.org, and NMHAC distributed 270,000 anti-stigma brochures to young people across the country.
>> Won Passage of four amendments in Senate and House committees.
GCS’s for-profit and non-profit clients were seeking key business objectives in the congressional deliberations that led to passage of the Affordable Care Act. Pursuing those goals required a particular set of communication and political skills because of the controversy that attended the legislative process.
GCS won passage of four amendments in both the Senate Finance Committee and the House Energy & Commerce Committee addressing topics like medical homes, Medicaid benchmark health benefits, and the structure of insurance exchange health benefits. GCS also played a role in securing statutory provisions in the Affordable Care Act creating protected classes of medications in the Part D Medicare prescription drug program.
>> Stopped legislation to cut $6 billion in Medicaid funding.
In 2007- 2008, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) drafted rehabilitative services and targeted case management rules, which proposed combined Medicaid funding cuts of $6 billion. These regulations had to be stopped.
GCS put together a mental health, disability and child welfare coalition that stopped passage of these rules. Similarly, after the Medicare Modernization Act was passed, GCS helped to shape regulations implementing the Competitive Acquisition Program and assisted healthcare providers seeking new reimbursement under Medicare.
Veterans Mental Healthcare
>> Stopped policies that restricted access to medicine for veterans with severe mental illnesses.
The Department of Veterans Affairs announced policies that restricted access to vital medicines for veterans with severe mental illnesses were being drafted.
GCS worked with the Eli Lilly Co. to insert strong language into a VA appropriations bill prohibiting the policies from being implemented. This situation turned in to a high profile political battle that was ultimately covered in the Wall Street Journal.
>> Built a coalition of eight state mental health departments and 30 members to fight mental illness stigma.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) launched the Elimination of Barriers Initiative to fight the stigma associated with mental illnesses.
GCS recruited both the eight state departments of mental health that participated in this public service advertising demonstration program as well as the 30 members of the National-State Partnership Committee, which served as the governing board for the project. The committee reflected a wide cross section of state agencies, consumer groups, and mental health citizens advocacy organizations.
>> Developed a partnership to honor TV and movie writers and producers for sensitive portrayals of mental illness.
The Voice Awards annual program (a SAMHSA initiative) was created in conjunction with the entertainment industry to honor writers and producers for sensitive and strength-based portrayals of mental illnesses on network and cable television as well as major motion pictures.
GCS worked with Vanguard Communications to develop 13 mental health Program Partners for the Los Angeles-based awards program.
>> Helped secure funding from the U.S. Department of Education for an education foundation.
The U.S. Department of Education announced funding for key financial education initiatives. The American Financial Services Association (AFSA) Education Foundation and the Jump$tart Coalition partnered with GCS to assist with securing funding for the financial literacy community’s agenda.