2022 Keep the Door Open Updates

We are down to the wire! With just one week left until the General Assembly adjourns on April 11, here is a rundown of where things stand on some of the initiatives MHAMD and our coalition partners have prioritized this session.

  • HB 293 to support the establishment and maintenance of the new 9-8-8 crisis hotline has passed and Governor Hogan has issued a supplemental appropriation of $5 million to support the effort in FY23.
  • HB 912 prohibiting balance billing of individuals forced to go out-of-network for behavioral health care has passed.
  • SB 460 creating a Consumer Health Access Program to support consumer parity rights has passed the Senate and awaits a vote in the House. Governor Hogan has issued a $250,000 supplemental appropriation to support the program in FY23 contingent on passage of the bill.
  • HB 766 giving local behavioral health authorities a greater role in authorizing educational funding for children in RTCs, thereby reducing the need for voluntary placement agreements, has passed the House and awaits a vote in the Senate.
  • SB 691 reforming Maryland’s juvenile justice system to divert young people, particularly those with behavioral health needs, away from justice involvement, has passed.
  • SB 559 authorizing supported decision making agreements to help prevent the need for public guardianship has passed the Senate and awaits a vote in the House.

Both chambers have adopted budget language requiring reporting and recommendations on (1) modernizing Maryland’s PASRR process for screening individuals with behavioral health needs referred for nursing home level of care and (2) expanding innovative youth-led and youth-designed prevention and early intervention programs.

Action Alerts!

Urge Lawmakers to Pass Critical Behavioral Health Legislation! There is a lot to be excited about, but two big bills are still up in the air.

The Behavioral Health System Modernization Act (HB 935) will expand access to a wide range of proven and validated community mental health programs, models, and services.

HB 715 will protect Marylanders living with mental health and substance use needs by requiring greater accountability from Optum, the vendor that manages the public behavioral health system.

Thank you to everyone who has already taken a moment to complete these Action Alerts. Because of your efforts, members of the Public Safety Subcommittee have received over 3,400 total emails over the past week urging their support for these bills.

Unfortunately, as of today, neither bill has passed out of subcommittee.

If you haven’t already, please visit our Action Center NOW to quickly and easily encourage members of the Public Health Subcommittee to VOTE YES on these critical measures.

After you complete the Action Alerts please forward this message to all your friends so they can make their voices heard too. Thank you for your support!

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

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