Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association

MHA Statement on the Mental Health ABC Bill

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From Leigh Simons Youmans, Senior Director, Healthcare Policy

“As the behavioral health emergency in Massachusetts worsens, our hospitals and health systems are thankful for the legislature’s focus on several of the solutions within our grasp.

“We are especially grateful for the passage of an amendment that will ensure hospitals are provided with the resources they need to best care for the more than 600 behavioral health patients boarding in their facilities. This measure — made possible by the leadership of Speaker Mariano, Representative Madaro, and Representative Decker – is a tremendous step forward as we confront the boarding crisis one day and one patient at a time.

“The legislation is also another stride toward achieving effective mental health coverage in the commonwealth. Mental health isn’t just a part of overall health – it’s a leading factor. Meaningful parity and reimbursement improvements like these can help alleviate virtually every challenge that the behavioral health system is facing – including workforce shortages and bed availability.

“MHA and our members look forward to maintaining a close partnership with state legislators as these solutions become a reality.”