February 2019
The Federation is involved at the national level in monitoring legislation, funding opportunities, advocacy opportunities and resources that could
aid your work as the voice for families.

Coming Soon!
Look for changes on our website to make
advocacy, funding and legislative news easier to find and use.
Mental Health in Schools Act
Rep. Grace F. Napolitano has reintroduced the Mental Health in Schools Act. By providing increased federal funding for therapists and mental health services in our schools, this bill will help youth with preventable mental illnesses get access to the services they need.

Facts on the Mental Health in Schools Act
The Mental Health in Schools Act would provide funding for public schools across the country to partner with local mental health professionals to establish on-site mental health care services for students.
The Mental Health in Schools Act will help students by:
  • Providing professional help for the 1 out of 5 youth who suffer from some form of mental illness
  • Addressing mental health problems when students are young, instead of waiting until they have drifted into drug use, crime, depression, or suicide
  • Keeping costs low, because mental health costs are very little compared to the costs placed on social services and the prison system when mental health is neglected
  • Saving lives, by funding school employed or community employed mental health professionals who help prevent suicide by identifying at-risk youth and counseling students before their problems spiral out of control
The Mental Health in Schools Act will provide $200,000,000 in competitive grants of up to $2 million each. It expands the scope of the Safe Schools/Healthy Students Program by providing on-site licensed mental health professionals in schools across the country. Funding will be distributed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), which will set guidelines and measure the outcomes of the funded programs.
Navigating Committees
The Senate and House Committee hearings are in full swing. Navigating the Committees and their pages can sometimes be confusing, so here are some tips.
Navigating Congressional Committees:
  • The link takes you to a listing of all the Committees
  • You can find your Congressional representative by entering your zip code in the upper right corner
  • Click on a Committee to take you to their Committee Page
  • The Committees will have full Committee and Subcommittee hearings
  • Community Activity links will generally take you a list of upcoming Hearings
  • Some committees air live through Youtube so you need to click on a recording link to get the live stream
  • Committees can have their own Facebook page. Liking and following that is a great way to get a quick overview of the current topics they are addressing
Navigating Senate Committees:
  • The Senate page is a little easier to navigate
  • On the upper right hand corner you can find archived floor proceedings
  • Membership and assignments on the left hand side will get you all the committees and the names of the members
  • Committee schedules and topics are listed
  • Clicking on the name of the Committee will take you to the Committee page
House Ways and Means Committee

On Tuesday, January 29th the House Ways and Means Committee held a hearing called "Protecting Americans with Pre-existing Conditions."
Witnesses who spoke included:
  • Karen Pollitz, Senior Fellow at the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF)
  • Andrew Stolfi, Insurance Commissioner in the Oregon Division of Financial Regulation 
  • Keysha Brooks-Coley, Vice President for Federal Advocacy & Strategic Alliances at the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
  • Andrew Blackshear, volunteer with the American Heart Association and one of the 133 million Americans with a pre-existing condition
  • Rob Robertson, Chief Administrator/Secretary-Treasurer for the Nebraska Farm Bureau

Keep up with the work of the Ways and Means Committee
  • Follow its Facebook Page for quick updates on their work
  • They live stream and post hearings on YouTube
  • Visit the hearings page for listings of set hearings. Go to the right of the page and click on Recordings: Committee Hearings & Markups to view live streams.
In the News
Department of Education Announces Initiative to Address the Inappropriate Use of Restraint and Seclusion
On January 18th, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced that the U.S. Department of Education will launch an initiative to address the possible inappropriate use of restraint and seclusion in our nation’s schools. The Office for Civil Rights ( OCR ), in partnership with the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services ( OSERS ), will oversee this proactive approach which will protect students with disabilities by providing technical assistance and support to schools, districts, and state education agencies, and strengthen enforcement activities.

“This initiative will not only allow us to support children with disabilities, but will also provide technical assistance to help meet the professional learning needs of those within the system serving students,” Secretary DeVos said. “The only way to ensure the success of all children with disabilities is to meet the needs of each child with a disability. This initiative furthers that important mission.”
The Department’s Initiative to Address the Inappropriate Use of Restraint and Seclusion will not only include components that help schools and districts understand how federal law applies to the use of restraint and seclusion, but the Department will also support schools seeking resources and information on the appropriate use of interventions and supports to address the behavioral needs of students with disabilities.
HHS Seeks Public Input on Improving Care Coordination and Reducing Burdens of the HIPAA Rules
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office for Civil Rights (OCR), issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking input from the public on how the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Rules, especially the HIPAA Privacy Rule, could be modified to further the HHS Secretary’s goal of promoting coordinated, value-based healthcare. 

"We are looking for candid feedback about how the existing HIPAA regulations are working in the real world and how we can improve them,” said OCR Director Roger Severino. “We are committed to pursuing the changes needed to improve quality of care and eliminate undue burdens on covered entities while maintaining robust privacy and security protections for individuals’ health information.”

In addition to requesting broad input on the HIPAA Rules, the RFI also seeks comments on specific areas of the HIPAA Privacy Rule, including:
  • Encouraging information-sharing for treatment and care coordination
  • Facilitating parental involvement in care
  • Addressing the opioid crisis and serious mental illness
  • Accounting for disclosures of PHI for treatment, payment, and health care operations as required by the HITECH Act
  • Changing the current requirement for certain providers to make a good faith effort to obtain an acknowledgment of receipt of the Notice of Privacy Practices

Public comments on the RFI will be due by midnight February 11, 2019. The RFI may be downloaded from the Federal Register at: https://www.federalregister.gov/public-inspection/.
Partnership for America's Children
The Partnership for America’s Children is a network of state and local child advocacy organizations working to improve policies affecting children at the local, state, and national level. The Partnership strengthens members’ policy knowledge, advocacy skills, and organizational development by connecting them to peer expertise and national resources, and by facilitating collaborative efforts to improve the lives of all America's children.

Upcoming Webinars The Partnership for America's Children, KIDS COUNT, and the Count All Kids Campaign will host a series of three webinars profiling child advocacy efforts around the country to ensure that all young children are counted in the 2020 Census. Young children were the largest single age group missed in the 2010 Census, by far. When children are missed, they lose political representation, their state gets less funding for critical children's programs, and state and local agencies cannot plan properly.

Each webinar must be registered for individually.
OSEP's Discretionary Grants Data Base

Perhaps you remember this searchable database from a year or two ago? All of the projects that Office of Special Education Programs funds under Part D of IDEA are listed within. You can search for projects bas ed on State, Disability, Age of Children, and Type of Award. CPIR is included there, and so is your RPTAC and your own Parent Center. Find out what other help and technical assistance are available to support improving results for children and youth with disabilities.
Medicaid State Fact Sheets
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities updated their state-by-state fact sheets showing how Medicaid helps millions of families and individuals across the country.

Medicaid helps low-income seniors, children, people with disabilities, and families get needed health care . Medicaid coverage improves families’ financial security by protecting them from medical debt and helping them stay healthy for work. Medicaid coverage also has long-term health, educational, and financial benefits for children .
School- B ased Health Centers Receive
$11 Million in Funding
On February 1st, The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) awarded $11 million in funding to 120 school-based health centers to increase access to mental health, substance abuse, and childhood obesity-related services in school-based health centers.These funds can be used to improve existing school-based health center facilities through minor alteration and renovation activities and/or to purchase equipment, including telehealth equipment.
Family Treatment Courts
Learning Collaborative
SAMHSA’s GAINS Center is accepting applications until February 20, 2019 for its Family Treatment Courts Learning Collaborative.

The Family Treatment Courts Learning Collaborative will bring together six local teams for an intensive learning, strategic planning, and implementation process to address local issues and needs. Each Learning Collaborative will engage subject-matter experts and facilitate peer-to-peer learning and information sharing. A virtual meeting will be held on May 22 and 23, 2019. 
The Family Treatment Courts Learning Collaborative is designed to improve practice within existing Family Treatment Court programs with an eye toward cross-systems relationships and strategies. 
Integrated Care for Kids (InCK) Model 
On F ebruary 8th, the CMS Innovation Center (CMMI) Innovation Center released a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the Integrated Care for Kids (InCK) Model. This child-centered local service delivery and state payment model aims to reduce expenditures and improve the quality of care for children covered by Medicaid and CHIP who have, or are at-risk for developing, significant health needs. 
CMS anticipates awarding up to eight cooperative agreements, of up to $16 million each for a seven-year period, to implement the model. The Notice of Funding Opportunity can be found here , or by copying and pasting the following link into your web browser: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=312759.
Applications must be received by 3pm ET on June 10, 2019.
Upcoming Webinars on InCK:

SAMHSA Grant Opportunities

SAMHSA is accepting applications for Suicide Prevention Lifeline Crisis Center Follow-Up Expansion Grant Program (Crisis Center Follow-Up Expansion). The purpose of this program is to provide an integrated hub that (1) Ensures systematic follow-up of suicidal persons who contact an NSPL Crisis Center (2) Provides enhanced coordination of crisis stabilization, crisis respite, and hospital emergency department services and (3) Enhances coordination with mobile on-site crisis response.

In effect, with the resources provided, the hub should not lose track of a person in a suicidal crisis as they interface with crisis systems. It is expected that this program will promote continuity of care to safeguard the well-being of individuals who are at risk of suicide.

SAMHSA plans to issue 2 grants of up to $336,192 per year for up to 3 years.
Application Due Date: Monday, March 11, 2019

SAMHSA is accepting applications for Garrett Lee Smith State/Tribal Youth Suicide Prevention and Early Intervention Grant Program (GLS State/Tribal Youth Suicide). The purpose of this program is to support states and tribes with implementing youth suicide prevention and early intervention strategies in schools, educational institutions, juvenile justice systems, substance use programs, mental health programs, foster care systems, and other child and youth-serving organizations.

SAMHSA plans to issue 26 grants of up to $736,000 per year for up to 5 years.
Application Due Date: Monday, March 18, 2019

SAMHSA is accepting applications for National Center of Excellence for Integrated Health Solutions (CIHS) grants. The purpose of this program is to advance the implementation of high quality, evidence-based treatment for individuals with co-occurring physical and mental health conditions, including substance use disorders.

SAMHSA Plans to issue 1 grant of up to $2,000,000 per year for up to 5 years.
Application Due Date: Friday, March 29, 2019

SAMHSA is accepting applications for 2019 Building Communities of Recovery (BCOR) grants. The purpose of this program is to mobilize resources within and outside of the recovery community to increase the prevalence and quality of long-term recovery support from substance abuse and addiction. These grants are intended to support the development, enhancement, expansion, and delivery of recovery support services as well as promotion of and education about recovery.

SAMHSA plans grants of up to $200,000 per year for up to 3 years.
Application Due Date: Tuesday, April 2, 2019
HRSA Funding Opportunity
New Rural Communities Opioid Response Program Funding Opportunity

On February 4th The Health Resources and Services Administration's (HRSA) Federal Office of Rural Health Policy will be releasing a Notice of Funding Opportunity for a new Rural Communities Opioid Response Program (RCORP) initiative called RCORP-Implementation (HRSA-19-082). HRSA plans to award approximately 75 grants, of up to $1 million each, to enhance substance and opioid use disorder prevention, treatment, and recovery service delivery in rural communities.

The funding opportunity will be posted in the next few weeks.
News from the States
Arkansas Live Stream
The Arkansas Citizens Access Network, will stream legislative proceedings and other government activities. The goal of AR-CAN is to provide as many livestreaming events as possible, allowing constituents to choose what to watch. While many state agencies and the Legislature currently livestream their meetings, AR-CAN is a one-stop shop and also keeps the sessions on the site for 30 days
Kentucky Medicaid Work Requirement Delayed Until July
State officials in Kentucky have pushed back the April 1 start date for Medicaid work requirements to July. Kentucky’s work requirement plan is currently facing a legal challenge that contributed to the state’s decision to delay implementation. The state also announced that Medicaid premiums, which will come into effect in April for some beneficiaries, will be waived for the first month.
A bill designed to reduce mental health crisis admissions in Maine emergency rooms would establish four “assessment centers” where patients could receive short-term treatment before placement in the state’s mental health system has been introduced.
Michigan MCOs push for Privatization of Public Mental Health Authorities
MCO's are pushing to speed up the privatization of the state's Medicaid behavioral health managed care system. 9 of the 10 Regional Mental Health Authorities are running deficits this year totaling $92.8 billion.

Advocates are concerned about how potential privatization would affect services. The Community Mental Health Association of Michigan has issued a Call to Action -to close funding and financial practices gaps to ensure ready access to mental health care, for Michiganders, and to ensure the fiscal stability of the public system.
The New Hampshire Children's Behavioral Health Collaborative developed the Children's Behavioral Health Plan with input from hundreds of stakeholders over many months. It is an ambitious road map to transform behavioral health care for NH children.
New Hampshire 's 10 Year Mental Health Plan
New Hampshire has a new 10 year mental health plan which was released in January of 2018 just in time for the legislative session. The plan makes a number of recommendations and calls for an additional $24 million in spending during this biennium to be allocated toward these priorities. A few of the priorities identified in the plan specific to children and youth include continued expansion of the model of system of care services which NH has embarked on; looking at transferring youth from our current state hospital and creating a psychiatric residential treatment facility in its place, promoting prevention and early intervention programs including those for early severe mental illness and developing crisis response services including mobile crisis response with training and expertise in children and youth. There are also several proposals in front of the legislature to address and increase funding for our child protective services system.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott made mental health care one of the primary themes of his State of the State address , including more student mental health screenings. The screenings would be part of his school safety plan, which was formed in response to last year's Santa Fe High School shooting .

“Mental health issues are not just confined to our schools,” Abbott says. “They touch our entire society.” Abbott also cited as an emergency item Senate BIll 10 which would create a statewide mental health care consortium. The group would be tasked with expanding services throughout the state and improving access to care.
In Washington, youth 13-17 can choose without parent consent to deny mental health treatment regardless of how grave their situation is. The bill includes changes long sought by parents, who have argued that state law makes it difficult to help mentally ill teenagers if they refuse to cooperate.

The bill would allow mental health care providers to give limited information to parents about their teens’ mental health treatment, even if the teens object. Currently, providers can share information only if the teen explicitly consents.
Alerting us to what is happening on the state level will aid not only those in your state but others nationally as ideas spread. As you become aware of state or national legislative alerts, funding and advocacy opportunities or resources that could be used to build funding requests, please let us know by emailing mcovington@ffcmh.org .