2022 Keep the Door Open Updates

Things are moving right along in Annapolis! The Maryland General Assembly is actively considering a number of critical legislative initiatives prioritized this year by MHAMD and the Maryland Behavioral Health Coalition.

Behavioral Health System Modernization Act

SB 637 | HB 935 will expand care coordination models like certified community behavioral health clinics (CCBHCs); ensure reliable reimbursement for peers, measurement-based care and crisis response services; and increase access to wraparound services for children and youth.

ACTION ALERT! The Modernization Act has been scheduled for a hearing this Wednesday in the Maryland House of Delegates. Visit our Action Center to learn how you can help advance this bill.

988 Maryland

SB 241 | HB 293 establishes a trust fund to reimburse for costs associated with designating and maintaining 9-8-8 as the universal telephone number for suicide prevention and behavioral health crisis response.

ACTION ALERT! This bill is awaiting a vote after positive hearings in both chambers. Help us push this bill over the finish line by completing this Action Alert from our partners at the Fund Maryland 988 Campaign.

Relief for Community Behavioral Health Providers

SB 549 | HB 715 is an emergency bill requiring Optum Maryland – the state’s  public behavioral health system administrator – to meet certain requirements before it can retract payments from mental health and substance use providers. This is a critical protection for community providers, who are facing the prospect of paying back large unverified sums of money resulting from Optum’s own IT challenges.

ACTION ALERT! This bill is awaiting a vote after positive hearings in both chambers. Help support community mental health and substance use providers by completing this Action Alert from our partners at the Community Behavioral Health Association of Maryland.

This Week in Annapolis

The policy priorities detailed above aren’t the only important issues being debated in Annapolis. Here are some of the other bills MHAMD will testify on this week.

  • HB 529 MHAMD supports this bill establishing a supported decision making process to reduce the need for public guardianship. This is a Mental Health and Aging Coalition priority. 
  • HB 1082 MHAMD supports this bill establishing a Consumer Health Information Hub to improve health literacy across the state.
  • HB 1120 MHAMD supports this bill to improve behavioral health screening and referral to treatment for incarcerated individuals who are pregnant.
  • HB 916 MHAMD supports this bill establishing a variety of new programs to expand the number of higher education students from underrepresented and diverse backgrounds who seek a career in behavioral health.

Further information about the material above is available on the Maryland General Assembly website.

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