Contact Your Representative and Senator today and let them know how frustrated you are with the status quo of insurance companies and urge them to pass the CliniciansUNITED Priority Anti-Trust Immunity Bill (SB 649)
As clinicians, we know that Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) reconsiders their reimbursement rates annually and begins paying the new rates every September. But we never know what the new rates will be until we see the change in our reimbursements in September. Clinicians and agencies that provide critical mental health services deserve to have input into this process, and also need enough notice to plan for changes in cash flow. This is just another example of why we need to pass SB 649. To learn more about our priority legislation click here .
Click here to reach out to your Representative and Senator and urge them to tell the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing about the changes to the BCBS contract and why Senate Bill 649 needs a favorable review from the committee.
What can we do?
Each year, Massachusetts taxpayers pay millions of dollars to behavioral health carve-out companies through MassHealth — but unlike other state-supported entities, these companies are not subjected to any transparency requirements.With two-thirds of MassHealth Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) using separate entities to manage behavioral health services, these contracts can have a huge impact on access to care.
That’s why CliniciansUNITED supports Section 188 of the proposed State Budget, which requires transparency in MassHealth’s behavioral health carve-out contracts. Clinicians understand the profound impact contractual terms can have on the affordability of and access to mental health services, and the terms of MassHealthcontracts are no different. These agreements must be made public and transparent to ensure accessibility to mental health care is not hindered in any way.
We need to make our voices heard to ensure Governor Patrick supports this important section of the State Budget. Click here to send your message to the governor today.
Without this information, it is impossible to know how much money MassHealth spends on behavioral health services for its members or what policies might prevent or increase access to services. By approving Section 188 of the budget, Governor Patrick can bring the Commonwealth one step closer to ensuring mental health care is prioritized — and make equal access to quality care a reality.
Governor Patrick will make his final budget decisions early this week, so be sure to make your voice heard. The entire process only takes a few minutes!
Thanks to your many emails and calls to state legislators, we were successful in ensuring independent mental health clinicians have a voice on the new Behavioral Health Task Force! We could not have been successful without the amazing leadership of Representative Patricia Haddad. Please join us in signing the ‘Thank You’ note to Representative Haddad for her hard work on behalf of clinicians and human service workers in the state budget!
Budget Amendment 146, authored by Representative Patricia Haddad, was ultimately included in the final House Budget. The measure grants SEIU Local 509 a seat on the new Behavioral Health Task Force, thereby ensuring the unique and valuable perspectives of clinicians in private practice, front-line behavioral health workers at state agencies and clinicians in private sector human service agencies are included in this important work.
As you know, mental health parity has often been named as a top priority by Bay State elected officials and regulators — but, in practice, the results have been mixed, at best.
Senate Bill 1959 would provide a legal avenue to address denied mental health coverage with insurance companies. This bill is long overdue and sends an important message to insurance companies that they must recognize that mental health services are a vital and necessary treatment that must be covered.
Please contact your local legislators today on this important bill. Ask them to urge the Chairs of the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Committee to give SB1959 a favorable report.
Governor Patrick recently signed a supplemental budget that raises reimbursement rates for outpatient mental health services provided by MassHealth — and we at CliniciansUNITED would like to thank him for his support!
As you know, neither public nor private reimbursement rates have not kept up with the actual costs of providing vital mental health services. To change this dynamic, we need to keep up the pressure on key decisionmakers when they’re wrong, but also show support for them when they’re right on the issues.
Please contact the Governor and thank him for supporting a supplemental budget that includes increased reimbursement rates for outpatient mental health services.
And when you’re done, invite colleagues to do the same through our easy-to-use Share Page.
Co-Chaired by SEIU Local 509 president Susan Tousignant, Raise Up Massachusetts is a coalition of more than 100 labor, faith, and community organizations working to place the minimum wage and earned sick time on the November 2014 ballot. If passed, we will raise living standards for more than a million working families in Massachusetts — including many of the clients we work with every day.
Clinicians have always fought to improve the quality of life of our clients and the communities we serve. And with our help collecting the 200,000 signatures needed to place these measures on the ballot, we can win a real victory for all Bay State workers.
It’s time to take action — to Raise Up Massachusetts. Here are a few ways clinicians can get involved in the fight:
For more information, contact Chris Condon, Local 509’s Legislative & Political Director, at (617) 924-8509 x515 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.