Equal Treatment Maryland
Things are moving along at full speed in Annapolis! The legislature has already held hearings on a number of our priority items, with a number of hearings scheduled this week as well.
Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs)
The Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow on legislation designed to expand Maryland’s network of CCBHCs. SB 362 is a key strategy in the Maryland Behavioral Health Coalition’s efforts to improve behavioral health outcomes, save money, and keep people out of crisis.
Collaborative Care Model
Committees in both the Senate and the House have held hearings on legislation to expand access to the Collaborative Care Model (SB 101 | HB 48). This model is proven to improve the quality of behavioral health services delivered in primary care settings, which is where most people with mild to moderate depression or anxiety first seek care.
Behavioral Health Workforce Investment Fund
The third priority on the Behavioral Health Coalition’s Crisis Prevention Platform is SB 283 | HB 418. This legislation would establish a Behavioral Health Workforce Investment Fund to reimburse for costs associated with educating, training, certifying, recruiting, placing, and retaining behavioral health professionals and paraprofessionals. The Senate Budget and Taxation Committee held a hearing last week on SB 283, which you can view here. HB 418 is scheduled for a hearing on February 21.
Please help us garner support for these bills by submitting a brief letter to the editor of your local newspaper. You can find draft letters and submission information for newspapers across the state here.
High Fidelity Wraparound
The Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow on legislation to expand access to High Fidelity Wraparound services for children and youth with high intensity behavioral health needs. SB 255 is a key strategy in the Children’s Behavioral Health Coalition’s efforts to prevent lengthy, unnecessary hospital stays for youth and reduce youth suicide.
Trans Health Equity Act
The House Health and Government Operations Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow on legislation requiring Medicaid coverage for medically necessary gender-affirming treatment. MHAMD’s director of youth and older adult policy outlined the importance of this critical initiative in an op-ed published last week. You can read it here.
This Week in Annapolis
The Coalition priorities above aren’t the only important policy issues being discussed in Annapolis. Check out our attached updated bill list to see everything we are focusing on.
Further information about the material above is available on the Maryland General Assembly website.