The legislature’s new session is underway and MHA, on behalf of hospitals across the commonwealth, has worked with legislative champions on filing a series of bills relating to MassHealth, behavioral health, healthcare quality and patient safety, and administrative simplification and cost reduction.
Over the coming weeks and months, Monday Report will feature a deeper look at specific bills from MHA’s priority legislation package that were filed prior to the Friday, January 16 early-file deadline. Heading up MHA’s list are two bills relating to behavioral health and federal Medicaid matching revenues that the state receives.
“An Act Expanding Coverage and Access to Behavioral Health Services”, filed jointly by Rep. Elizabeth Malia (D-Jamaica Plain) and Sen. John Keenan (D-Quincy) is comprehensive legislation developed in concert with the bill sponsors and a coalition of behavioral health providers. It advances numerous administrative fixes to minimize delays for patient access to behavioral health services, proposes innovative strategies to enhance care for difficult-to-place patients, and helps ensure appropriate resources are invested in the system.
“An Act to Protect Healthcare Reform Funding”, filed by Rep. Jennifer Benson (D-Lunenburg) and Sen. Michael Rodrigues (D-Westport), establishes a dedicated trust fund to house the enhanced federal Medicaid matching funds that flow to Massachusetts under the Affordable Care Act. MHA and a broad coalition of healthcare stakeholders want to ensure that the federal funding is used to support low-income healthcare programs as Congress intended