More on Legislative Initiatives on The Hill

December 5, 2022

Earlier today, we sent all members an email discussing some of the high priority issues under consideration on The Hill.  Here’s more:

Mental Health Parity Improvements Act

The Senate Finance Committee recently released draft legislative text of the Mental Health Parity Improvements Act, which includes policies intended to improve mental health parity in Medicare and Medicaid and helping to put access to mental health and substance use disorder (SUD) services on par with physical health care. 

In the draft are some key provisions:

  • Requiring Accurate, Updated, and Searchable Provider Directories in Medicaid
    • Codifies existing regulations requiring Medicaid managed care organizations to maintain updated provider directories that indicate if a provider is accepting new patients
  • Guidance on Partial Hospitalization Program Services for Medicare Beneficiaries with Substance Use Disorders
    • Requires the provision of guidance detailing the extent to which Medicaid beneficiaries with SUDs can receive partial hospitalization program services as well as other forms of Medicare-covered outpatient services
  • GAO Report on Disparities in Medicaid Payment Rates for Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Benefits
    • Requires a GAO report comparing Medicaid payment rates for behavioral health services and Medicaid or surgical services across a sample of states

We have attached both the draft legislation and a summary chart of the full legislation package for your review and use.

Next Steps

All five of the Senate Finance Committee Working Groups have released draft legislative text. We do not expect the Senate Finance Committee to hold a markup for this legislative proposal. We will keep you apprised of any additional information and/or momentum related to a possible legislative vehicle for viable pieces of the package.