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Legislative Updates

Putting Patients First Act

On Thursday, June 25, the Massachusetts State Senate passed An Act Putting Patients First (S.2769). This bill is important because it requires health plans to continue covering telehealth (both audio-only and video) for mental health and substance use services after the COVID-19 State of Emergency is lifted. If you haven't already, please sign up for our email list (in the footer section of this webpage) to receive updates about opportunities to advocate for mental health reform in the House and in Conference Committee.

Mental Health ABC Act

On Feb. 13, the MA Senate passed the Mental Health ABC Act (S.2519), which includes provisions to:

  • Enforce mental health parity laws
  • Require commercial coverage of Emergency Services Programs (ESPs)
  • Require coverage for mental health and physical health services when they are delivered on the same day
  • Create a workforce pipeline to encourage and support individuals from diverse backgrounds to pursue careers in mental health

View the press statement by MAMH and the Children's Mental Health Campaign supporting this legislation. And please watch Senate President Karen Spilka's video about why it's so important that we pass this bill!

Health Care Reform 2.0

Governor Charlie Baker's health reform bill prioritizes behavioral health and primary care, requiring insurers, hospitals, and physician groups to increase spending in these areas by 30% by 2023. The bill would address barriers to parity, such as removing payment restrictions for people receiving multiple services on the same day, and improve access to qualified behavioral health providers and comprehensive services in urgent care clinics and emergency rooms.

Read MAMH's statement in support of the proposal and testimony delivered Jan. 28 by MAMH President & CEO Danna Mauch on behalf of the Children's Mental Health Campaign. You can access the full text of the bill here.

FY21 Budget Priorities

Department of Mental Health Rental Subsidy Program

The DMH Rental Subsidy Program provides DMH clients with clinical, social, and tenancy support services through community providers. This program helps clients of DMH maintain their health and wellbeing in community settings.

The Governor's FY21 budget proposal includes a $2 million shortfall for the DMH Rental Subsidy program. We are requesting a $3 million increase over the Governor's proposal (funding DHCD line item 7004-9033 at $10.548 million for FY21). This increase will reverse the $2 million shortfall, which will preserve housing for 160 individuals, plus provide an additional $1 million to house an additional 80 individuals.

Learn more about the budget process here.

Active Campaign

Trauma-Informed Policy and Practice

MAMH is an active member of the Campaign for Trauma-Informed Policy and Practice (CTIPP). CTIPP works in collaboration with government, organizations, and citizens to develop trauma-informed, prevention-focused, evidence-informed policies and practices that promote a comprehensive, integrated, multi-sector approach for building trauma-informed communities.