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On the Hill: Senate Finance Considers Policies on Youth Mental Health

On June 15,  Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Ranking Member Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), and Sens. Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.) released a discussion draft of policies Congress could consider to improve youth mental health. This is the second of an expected five discussion drafts from the committee in advance of their full mental health legislative proposal.

Senate Finance’s Youth Mental Health Proposals

The Finance Committee stated in February 2022  there would be a bipartisan focus among the committee on five areas within public health: workforce, care integration, mental health, telehealth, and youth. The committee spent the early months of 2022 hammering out policies to address mental health generally and now has turned to youth mental health.

The discussion draft on youth mental health includes:

  • policies on including same-day Medicaid reimbursements for behavioral health services;
  • updated Medicaid guidance to clarify allowable behavioral and mental health payments; and
  • streamlined Medicaid enrollment processes for behavioral health providers.

Congressional Schedule

On Thursday, June 23, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies will hold a markup of the fiscal year 2023 proposed budget for Health and Human Services.

Both chambers are also setting aside time for potential consideration of a gun control and mental health package being negotiated by a bipartisan group of senators.

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About the Author

Christina Fagnano is the legislative affairs associate at America's Essential Hospitals.

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