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:
- Advancing key legislative priorities to improve behavioral health – read our 2018 legislative priorities.
- Incenting quality care and evidence based services – read our comments to the US Senate Finance Committee
- Advancing zero suicide pathways in all health system – learn more about our Zero Suicide pathways
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.
- Ask your Representative to advocate on behalf of efforts to combat the opioid crisis:
- Find your representatives’ contact information.
- Call and/or email your representative.
- 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.
- April 26, 2019 New Grants Could Help Destigmatize Addiction in Indiana
- February 21, 2019 Mental Health Access Improvement Act
- January 30, 2019 Centerstone VP Testifies on Addiction Recovery Centers
- November 9, 2018 Three Ways Elected Leaders Can Change Health Care
- August 20, 2018 A Call for Your Advocacy: Senate Slated to Vote on Opioid Package in Coming Weeks
- June 21, 2018 Statement from CEO David Guth on OPPS Act (David Guth, Centerstone)
- June 20, 2018 House Passes Bill to Align SUD Rules with HIPAA Privacy Rule (HealthIT Now)
- June 18, 2018 Take Action: to Combat Addiction (Dr. Rick Shelton)
- May 29, 2018 Honor Mental Health Month by Rededicating Commitment to Technology-Enabled Treatment and Support (HealthIT Now)
- May 9, 2018 Part 2 Part 2 (Politico)
- May 9, 2018 House Debates Bill to Align SUD Rules with HIPAA Privacy Rule (HealthIT Security)
- April 30, 2018 Ky. Leaders Back McConnell’s Effort To Address Effect Of Opioids On Workforce (WFPL)
- April 30, 2018 McConnell: Senate Likely to Consider Anti-Opioid Package (US News)
- April 30, 2018 McConnell: Senate likely to consider anti-opioid package (Washington Post)
- April 13, 2018 Watch David Guth’s Testimony on Opioid Crisis Before Congressional Committee
- April 12, 2018 Centerstone CEO Testifies on Opioid Crisis before Congressional Committee
- April 4, 2018 Using our nation’s resources to provide care (Dr. Bob Vero, CEO of Centerstone Tennessee)
- March 29, 2018 Opioid Epidemic Gets Billions in Appropriations: Now What? (Centerstone’s policy staff)
- March 23, 2018 FY2018 Omnibus Spending Bill’s Affect On Addiction (Centerstone’s policy staff)
- March 21, 2018 David Guth’s Statement on Opioid Crisis Hearing
- March 19, 2018 White House Includes HITN Opioid Safety Alliance Priorities in Outline of New Initiatives to Combat Opioid Misuse (HealthIT Now)
- March 19, 2018 Health and Wellness: Opioid Crisis Efforts Continue In Washington (Centerstone’s policy staff)
- March 9, 2018 House to hold two-day hearing to consider more than 20 opioid bills (CNN)
- March 8, 2018 Opioid use disorder in the United States: Diagnosed prevalence by payer, age, sex, and state (Milliman)
- February 22, 2018 Combating pill mills: Establishing standards for addiction treatment with Comprehensive Opioid Recovery Centers (Medical News)
- December 29, 2017 Evaluating barriers to addiction treatment (Medical News)
Lauren Conaboy, Vice President of National Policy