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Association Gives Senate Panel Comments on Mental Health Care

In a recent letter to lawmakers, America’s Essential Hospitals identified issues and provided potential policy solutions for Congress to consider when developing legislation on providing mental health care.

Bipartisan leaders of the Senate Committee on Finance solicited information from stakeholders on improving access to and enhancing mental and behavioral health care. Lawmakers expressed interest in perspectives for policy options to:

  • strengthen the health care workforce;
  • support further use of telehealth services;
  • increase integration, coordination, and access to care;
  • ensure parity between behavioral and physical health care; and
  • improve access to behavioral health care for children and adolescents.

The association’s response cited innovative examples from essential hospitals to increase equitable access to mental and behavioral health services. Notably, the association called on lawmakers to make short- and long-term investments in bolstering and diversifying the health care provider pipeline, ensuring there are enough health care professionals to meet the nation’s mental health care demand. The letter also pointed to tangible policy proposals that would help streamline access to behavioral health services, mitigate health disparities, and help essential hospitals meet their mission of providing high-quality care to all.

Contact Senior Vice President of Policy and Advocacy Beth Feldpush, DrPH, at 202.585.0111 or bfeldpush@essentialhospitals.org with questions.

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About the Author

Nikki Hurt is a manager of legislative affairs at America's Essential Hospitals.

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