Congress Has Been Busy — 11 Different Bills Pass Covering Mental Health and Substance Use

May 19th, 2021 - Wyn Staheli, Director of Research
Categories:   Behavioral Health|Psychiatry|Psychology  

The House of Representatives has certainly been working hard to advance behavioral health services. The following is a list of bills that have recently passed there and moved on to the Senate:

  1. Suicide Prevention Lifeline Improvement Act of 2021: Appropriates $5 million to begin a “pilot program to research, analyze, and employ various technologies and platforms of communication (including social media platforms, texting platforms, and email platforms) for suicide prevention in addition to the telephone and online chat service provided by the Suicide Prevention Lifeline.”
  2. Family Support Services for Addiction Act of 2021: “To establish a grant program for family community organizations that provide support for individuals struggling with substance use disorder and their families.”
  3. STANDUP Act of 2021: “Suicide Training and Awareness Nationally Delivered for Universal Prevention Act of 2021 or the STANDUP Act of 2021 requires state, tribal, and local educational agencies that receive grant funding for priority mental-health needs, including through the Project AWARE State Education Agency Grant Program, to establish and implement evidence-based suicide awareness and prevention training policies. In addition, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, in coordination with the Department of Education and Bureau of Indian Education, must provide educational agencies with best practices for these trainings.”
  4. Mental Health Services for Students Act of 2021: “This bill provides specific statutory authority for the Project AWARE (Advancing Wellness and Resiliency in Education) State Educational Agency Grant Program that is administered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The program supports school-based mental health services, including screening, treatment, and outreach programs.”
  5. Improving Mental Health Access from the Emergency Department Act of 2021: “This bill authorizes a grant program for emergency departments to increase access to follow-up psychiatric services for individuals who present for care of acute mental-health episodes. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration may award these grants.” 
  6. Effective Suicide Screening and Assessment in the Emergency Department Act of 2021: “This bill requires the Department of Health and Human Services to award grants to hospitals to improve their capacity to identify patients in emergency departments who are at risk of suicide and connect those patients with mental health treatments and services.” 
  7. Pursuing Equity in Mental Health Act: Among other things, this bill seeks to appropriate $20 million to fund grants for Federally qualified health centers, rural health clinics, or behavioral health programs, serving a high proportion of individuals from racial and ethnic minority groups.
  8. HERO Act: “To require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to improve the detection, prevention, and treatment of mental health issues among public safety officers, and for other purposes.” This includes tracking suicide rates as well as creating behavioral health and wellness programs.
  9. Campaign to Prevent Suicide Act: “To require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to conduct a national suicide prevention media campaign, and for other purposes.” 
  10. Suicide Prevention Act: “To authorize a pilot program to expand and intensify surveillance of self-harm in partnership with State and local public health departments, to establish a grant program to provide self-harm and suicide prevention services in hospital emergency departments, and for other purposes.”
  11. Suicide Prevention Lifeline Improvement Act of 2021: “To amend the Public Health Service Act to ensure the provision of high-quality service through the Suicide Prevention Lifeline, and for other purposes.”

It’s clear that that suicide prevention is high on their list of priorities since many of these acts deal specifically with that issue. It’s good to see that they are also addressing the needs of schools as well as minority groups.

Keep in mind that the Senate is reviewing these bills and even if something passes in the House, it does not mean that it will move through the Senate, be signed by the President, and then become a law. If you wish to support any of these bills, be sure to contact your local senator expressing your support.


Questions, comments?

If you have questions or comments about this article please contact us.  Comments that provide additional related information may be added here by our Editors.

Latest articles:  (any category)

Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare - A Medical Coder's Perspective
December 26th, 2023 - Aimee Wilcox
We constantly hear how AI is creeping into every aspect of healthcare but what does that mean for medical coders and how can we better understand the language used in the codeset? Will AI take my place or will I learn with it and become an integral part of the process that uses AI to enhance my abilities? 
Specialization: Your Advantage as a Medical Coding Contractor
December 22nd, 2023 - Find-A-Code
Medical coding contractors offer a valuable service to healthcare providers who would rather outsource coding and billing rather than handling things in-house. Some contractors are better than others, but there is one thing they all have in common: the need to present some sort of value proposition in order to land new clients. As a contractor, your value proposition is the advantage you offer. And that advantage is specialization.
ICD-10-CM Coding of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
December 19th, 2023 - Aimee Wilcox
Chronic respiratory disease is on the top 10 chronic disease list published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Although it is a chronic condition, it may be stable for some time and then suddenly become exacerbated and even impacted by another acute respiratory illness, such as bronchitis, RSV, or COVID-19. Understanding the nuances associated with the condition and how to properly assign ICD-10-CM codes is beneficial.
Changes to COVID-19 Vaccines Strike Again
December 12th, 2023 - Aimee Wilcox
According to the FDA, CDC, and other alphabet soup entities, the old COVID-19 vaccines are no longer able to treat the variants experienced today so new vaccines have been given the emergency use authorization to take the place of the old vaccines. No sooner was the updated 2024 CPT codebook published when 50 of the codes in it were deleted, some of which were being newly added for 2024.
Updated ICD-10-CM Codes for Appendicitis
November 14th, 2023 - Aimee Wilcox
With approximately 250,000 cases of acute appendicitis diagnosed annually in the United States, coding updates were made to ensure high-specificity coding could be achieved when reporting these diagnoses. While appendicitis almost equally affects both men and women, the type of appendicitis varies, as dose the risk of infection, sepsis, and perforation.
COVID Vaccine Coding Changes as of November 1, 2023
October 26th, 2023 - Wyn Staheli
COVID vaccine changes due to the end of the PHE as of November 1, 2023 are addressed in this article.
Medicare Guidance Changes for E/M Services
October 11th, 2023 - Wyn Staheli
2023 brought quite a few changes to Evaluation and management (E/M) services. The significant revisions as noted in the CPT codebook were welcome changes to bring other E/M services more in line with the changes that took place with Office or Other Outpatient Services a few years ago. As part of CMS’ Medicare Learning Network, the “Evaluation and Management Services Guide” publication was finally updated as of August 2023 to include the changes that took place in 2023. If you take a look at the new publication (see references below),....

Home About Terms Privacy

innoviHealth® - 62 E 300 North, Spanish Fork, UT 84660 - Phone 801-770-4203 (9-5 Mountain)

Copyright © 2000-2024 innoviHealth Systems®, Inc. - CPT® copyright American Medical Association