REGIONAL POLICY MEETING - Boston, MA | Mental Health America

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Tuesday, August 8, 2017
7:30 AM - 2:15 PM (Mountain Time)

Westin Boston Waterfront
425 Summer Street
Webster Room
Bsoton, MA 02210
United States

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This event is free for affiliates, associate members, RPC funders, and legislators.

Event Summary

On August 8th, 2017, Mental Health America’s Regional Policy Council (RPC) convened its third of four annual meetings entitled Proceeding in the Evolving Public and Private Landscape. Co-located in Boston with the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) 2017 Legislative Summit, the Regional Policy Meeting is attended by legislators and their staff, Mental Health America affiliates, health practitioners, advocates and local and national industry partners.

President and CEO of Beacon Health Options, Tim Murphy, provided introductory remarks highlighting his vision for health care and the increasing role of managed care in helping individuals with mental health and substance use disorders.  Legislator honorees from four states received awards for their work as Mental Health Champions. The RPC recognized five state legislators: Senator Joseph Vitale of New Jersey, Senator Joshua Miller of Rhode Island, Senator Emmett Hanger, Jr. of Virginia, and Representatives Aaron Kaufer and Thomas Murt of Pennsylvania. These statesmen were nominated by their local affiliates MHA New Jersey, MHA of Rhode Island, MHA of Augusta, and Mental Health Partnerships, respectively, for spearheading legislation at the state level on mental health parity implementation, Affordable Care Act-like reform, and substance use and opioid addiction response.

Following the Legislative Awards Breakfast, Dr. Emma Stanton of Beacon Health Options provided the first guest presentation of the meeting. Katherine Record of the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission and Tim Clement of The Kennedy Forum wrapped up the morning with discussions on health care financing and parity legislation and enforcement.

Four MHA affiliates shared their in-state work including John Richter on New York’s Mental Health Education in Schools Act, Ruth Feder on Rhode Island’s ACA-based legislation, Michael Brody on funding Peer Specialist programs in Pennsylvania, and Dan Martin on the Keep the Door Open Act funding community-based services and maternal mental health legislation. Select slideshow presentations are available to download below.


    Monday, August 7

    6:00 pm - 9:00 pm Affiliate-Only Dinner

    Tuesday, August 8

    7:30 am

    Breakfast begins

    8:00 am - 8:45 am

    Award presentations honoring state legislative mental health champions

    9:15 am - 10:00 am

    Dr. Emma Stanton, Medical Director, Beacon Health Options, managed care perspective and role in the new landscape

    10:00 am - 10:45 am

    Katherine L. Record, JD MPH, Deputy Policy Director, Behavioral Health Integration & Accountable Care Health Policy Commission

    11:00 am - 11:45 am

    Tim Clement, Kennedy Forum speaking on state parity initiatives

    11:45 am - 12:30 pm


    12:30 pm - 1:45 pm

    Affiliate Panel Lunch on In-State Innovations: NY’s Mental Health Education in Schools Act, RI state legislation that protects ACA provision, PA on funding of Peer Specialists programs, MD on Keep the Door Open Advocacy Campaign (tying funding to inflation) and efforts on maternal mental health.

    1:45 pm - 2:15 pm

    Update on national legislation and happenings on the Hill—Debbie Plotnick and Nathaniel Counts, MHA Policy and Advocacy

    2:15 pm


    On-site Contacts: Caren Howard, Debbie Plotnick


    MHA ​aligns ​its ​RPC ​Policy ​Meetings ​with ​the ​meetings ​of ​major ​state ​executive ​and ​legislative ​membership ​groups. ​The ​objective ​for ​meeting ​is ​to ​work ​as ​trusted ​partners ​with ​policymakers ​to ​improve ​and ​inform ​communication ​and ​dialogue ​among ​them ​and ​mental ​health ​advocates, ​providers, ​community ​collaborators ​and ​industry ​associates, ​and ​to ​respond ​to ​a ​dynamic ​national ​environment ​by ​identifying ​opportunities ​for ​state ​action ​to ​advance ​mental ​health. ​Each ​meeting ​includes ​a ​reception ​honoring ​mental ​health ​champions ​from ​all ​levels ​of ​state ​government. ​

    The ​​meeting ​addresses ​challenges ​to ​the ​states ​that ​​emerge ​out ​of ​the ​changing ​landscape ​in ​Washington. ​Both ​in ​and ​outside ​of ​the ​meetings, ​the ​RPC ​works ​continuously ​to ​strengthen ​a ​“boots ​on ​the ​ground” ​coalition ​to ​protect ​and ​expand ​upon ​bipartisan ​policies ​on ​behalf ​of ​people ​with ​mental ​illnesses, ​including:

    • Mental ​health ​and ​addiction ​services ​covered ​at ​parity ​in ​all ​public ​and ​private ​insurance ​plans;
    • Affordable, ​accessible, ​and ​continuous ​insurance ​coverage ​for ​people ​with ​pre-existing ​conditions;
    • Fair ​federal ​funding ​and ​flexibility ​in ​Medicaid ​that ​allows ​people ​to ​access ​the ​most ​current ​and ​effective ​treatments ​and ​supports ​leading ​to ​recovery; ​
    • Improved ​coordination ​and ​integration ​of ​care, ​including ​using ​peers ​as ​essential ​members ​of ​care ​and ​support ​teams; ​and
    • Ending ​the ​use ​of ​jails ​and ​prisons ​as ​custodial ​care ​facilities ​for ​people ​with ​behavioral ​illnesses.

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