2020 Legislative Briefing and Reception
This is the week! The MHAMD 2020 Legislative Briefing and Reception is this Thursday, January 30 at the Graduate Annapolis Hotel.
In addition to our keynote and panel discussion focused on addressing the behavioral health needs of children with adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), we will hear directly from policymakers about a range of behavioral health bills and issues being considered this legislative session. Expected speakers and topics include:
- Dr. Aliya Jones, Deputy Secretary of Behavioral Health, will give welcoming remarks and talk about the state of behavioral health in Maryland
- Dennis Schrader, Medicaid Director and Chief Operating Officer at the Maryland Department of Health, will discuss the ongoing behavioral health system of care reform initiative
- Senator Guy Guzzone (D-13 Howard County), chair of the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee, will give an update on how the fiscal year 2021 budget impacts mental health and substance use disorder services
- Delegate Heather Bagnall (D-33 Anne Arundel County) will discuss her bill to expand access to behavioral health crisis response centers
- Delegate Lorig Charkoudian (D-20 Montgomery County) will give an update on her efforts to expand Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) capacity across the state
- Senator Malcolm Augustine (D-47 Prince George’s County) will talk about his legislation to improve behavioral health parity transparency and compliance reporting
We will also celebrate our 2020 Champions of Today, honoring those individuals whose leadership has had a lasting and profound impact on Maryland’s behavioral health system and the people it serves. This year’s honorees include Senator Addie Eckardt, Delegate Erek Barron, and child advocate Dorie Flynn.
Tickets are still available, but time is running out! Learn more and register here.
Things are moving along steadily in Annapolis, and the workload is increasing weekly. The MHAMD public policy team will spend time this week urging legislators to reject a proposed behavioral health provider rate reduction that would underfund community mental health and substance use treatment by nearly $25 million.
We will also meet with senators and delegates to urge support for another top Behavioral Health Coalition priority – legislation to ensure the appropriate enforcement of federal and state parity laws. Senate Bill 334 | House Bill 455 requires health insurers to submit annual parity compliance reports to the Maryland Insurance Administration. It also provides a range of data transparency and consumer protection provisions. A bill hearing is scheduled on February 19 in the Senate Finance Committee.
A number of other Coalition priority bills are still being finalized, but we expect official introduction in the coming days. We will provide bill numbers and additional details when available. Until then, be sure to follow the Coalition’s Keep the Door Open campaign on Facebook and Twitter for all the most up-to-date information.
Upcoming Hearings, Briefings and Other Activities
As we inch toward February, bill introductions are increasing and the Maryland General Assembly is focused on the business of hearing and voting on legislation in committee. Most of the Senate bills are expected to be introduced by the introduction deadline next Monday, February 3. The House deadline is Friday, February 7. Here are some of the legislative and policy activities MHAMD is focused on this week. Our current bill list is attached.
- HB 206 MHAMD supports this bill providing that unaccompanied minors may consent to shelter and support services in certain situations [Tuesday, January 28 – 1:00 p.m. – House Appropriations Committee]
Briefing from the Health Services Cost Review Commission (HSCRC) on the Total Cost of Care (TCOC) Model and the Maryland Primary Care Program (MDPCP) [Wednesday, January 29 – 1:00 p.m. – House Health and Government Operations Committee]
Further information about the material above is available on the
Maryland General Assembly website.