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Legislative Advocacy

As one of the nation’s leading not-for-profit providers of behavioral health services, Centerstone strives to offer the latest evidence-based services to our patients, improve care coordination so as to not only improve patient outcomes, but also improve patients’ experiences in receiving care. Centerstone advocates for policy solutions that seek to ensure that patients in need of urgent mental health and addiction care – can obtain the help they need, when they need it. 

Legislative Advocacy for Mental Health and Addiction 

Today, drug overdoses are the leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 50. Continuing to treat addiction differently than other brain disorders or chronic diseases inhibits our nation’s ability to truly address the drug crisis and provide patients with the highest quality treatment. Similar to other chronic diseases, substance abuse and mental health disorders require comprehensive, evidence-based treatment in order to achieve positive outcomes and build toward recovery.

To better address this devastating public health epidemic, we need to break down regulatory barriers to evidence-based, patient-centered care.  To do this, Centerstone is advocating for the following policy solutions:

Take Action (April 2019)

The Opioid Prevention and Patient Safety Act (OPPS Act/HR 2062) in the House and the Protecting Jessica Grubb’s Legacy Act (S 1012) in the Senate – ensure that medical providers have access to the full medical history of patients suffering from substance use disorders. These bills passed the House in the last congress, but ultimately did not become law due to being stalled in the Senate. Their re-introduction offers an important opportunity to improve our ability to treat substance use disorders. We encourage interested parties to take action – here is some additional background on the bill and pointers on how to reach out to your representatives & senators.

Prompt Summary

  • Ask your Representative to advocate on behalf of efforts to combat the opioid crisis:
  1. Find your representatives’ contact information.
  2. Call and/or email your representative.
  3. Sample Statement“Hello. My name is (name, city you live in, place you work (if applicable)) and I’m calling to share my support for the Opioid Prevention and Patient Safety Act (HR 2062/S 1012). As an employee of a front-lines provider of behavioral health and substance abuse services, I know how important it is for providers to have access to a patient’s full medical record to ensure safe, whole-person, integrated care. This bill will align 42 CFR Part 2 with HIPAA. This will reduce stigma by treating addiction like all other illnesses, allow for care coordination and integration of treatment, and improve outcomes. Thank you.”Sample Social Media PostThe Opioid Prevention and Patient Safety Act would allow better substance use treatment by streamlining provider access to a patient’s medical record. This Act updates outdated privacy laws and aligns them with HIPPA, which ensures safer, whole-person healthcare. Call (202) 224-3121 and ask to speak to your representative about supporting the OPPS Act. Thank you all for helping us to address these legislative issues which will help us to deliver care that changes people’s lives.

 

The Crisis Next Door (from The White House and Office of National Drug Control Policy) Share your story by uploading a video about how you overcame addiction, volunteered at a recovery center, or worked as a family to help a loved one get on the path to recovery.

News and Opinion

As news stories and opinion pieces are made available, and when appropriate, Centerstone policy staff will share them to help keep you fully informed as to what is going on in our nation’s capital regarding all behavioral health topics.

Lauren Conaboy, Vice President of National Policy