Federal News & Issues

Washington, DC –  The Partnership to Amend 42 CFR Part 2 (Partnership), a coalition of nearly 50 health care organizations committed to aligning 42 CFR Part 2 (Part 2) with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) for the purposes of treatment, payment, and health care operations (TPO), issued the below statement today in response to the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), “Coordinating Care and Information Sharing in the Treatment of Substance Use Disorders,” released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The proposed rule would modify 42 CFR Part 2, the federal regulations that govern confidentiality of drug...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: Aug 23, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. —The American Psychiatric Association (APA) is deeply concerned with the administration’s decision to end the Flores Settlement Agreement, and issued the following statement from APA President Bruce Schwartz, M.D.

“A substantial body of research shows that stressful events during childhood can lead to long-term developmental, learning and health problems, not to mention a heightened risk of depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder. The Flores Settlement Agreement was intended to protect the well-being of children who are detained by immigration authorities, but the new rule would endanger their mental health by eliminating the 20-day limit on detainment and weakening licensing requirements of detention centers.

The children and families seeking asylum at the U.S. borders are already...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: Aug 23, 2019

The Department of Homeland Security issued a final regulation that changes long-standing rules governing how and whether immigrants can be determined to be a “public charge;” widens the scope of programs considered by the government in making such a determination; and serves as a barrier to accessing health care for legal immigrants, as doing so can now serve as a basis for denying individuals green cards or U.S. visas.

In response, the American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Osteopathic Association, American College of Physicians, and American Psychiatric Association, collectively representing more than 597,000 of America's frontline physicians, issued this statement:

Our organizations, which represent more than 597,...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: Aug 13, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Psychiatric Association (APA) today joined six other physician and health professional organizations in calling for action to address the public health epidemic of firearm-related injury and death. In 2017, nearly 40,000 people died as a result of a firearm, a 20-year high, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Our nation is in the midst of an epidemic of firearm-related injuries and deaths, and we must treat this as a public health crisis,” said APA President Bruce Schwartz, M.D. “We see the long-lasting mental health impact firearm-related violence and injury has on our patients every day, and it is time for us to come together as a nation to address this epidemic.”

The groups call for several evidence-based steps, including:

  • ...
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Author: mbourdase - Published: Aug 7, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A Veterans Health Administration (VHA) program that provides tablets to veterans with mental disorders leads to improved access and continuity of care. A new study published online in Psychiatric Services in Advance finds that video-enabled tablets can improve mental health care access for patients who experience barriers because of geographic, social, or health-related circumstances.

About a third of the about 9 million veterans enrolled in VHA live in rural or island areas, and many have transportation or financial challenges to getting care. In addition, veterans with mental disorders may avoid care because of stigma or privacy concerns.

The VHA began distributing video-enabled tablets to veterans with mental...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: Aug 6, 2019

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