On June 24th, Senate Bill 649, An Act to promote the accessibility, quality and continuity of care for consumers of behavioral health, substance use disorder and mental health services, had a hearing in front of the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing. CU members, staff, and allies testified in support of this important piece of legislation that would drastically increase access to mental health care in Massachusetts. This bill addresses access challenges by creating state action immunity for providers who choose to engage in joint negotiations with insurance providers on issues such as reimbursement rates and medical necessity criteria.
On July 16th, CU testified in front of the Joint Committee on Mental Health and Substance Abuse in support of House Bill 1812, An Act to promote accessibility and affordability of behavioral health and substance abuse services for recipients of MassHealth. This bill, filed by Rep. Jim O’Day, will require mental health carve-outs to make their contracts and executive compensation publicly available. The purpose of this bill is to shine a light on how effectively tax dollars are being spent to provide essential behavioral health and substance abuse services to those that need them most.