Your voice in Washington

Netsmart advocacy on key legislative and public policy issues

Lawmakers and regulators make decisions every day that impact healthcare and how providers deliver services. Netsmart is an advocate on key federal legislative and regulatory issues on behalf of our clients and those they serve. Scroll to learn more about our current areas of focus:

 

American Rescue Plan Act

Signed into law March 11, the American Rescue Plan Act is the latest federal legislation designed to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. While much of the nearly $2 trillion bill is focused on financial relief for individuals and businesses, it also includes several significant areas of funding and grant opportunities applicable to human services and post-acute organizations, as well as state, county and local governments.

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FCC COVID-19 Telehealth Funding - Round 2

The FCC has released the criteria for Round 2 funding with an additional $250 million authorized by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. Netsmart advocated for inclusion of human services and post-acute providers as eligible for this program to help providers establish or advance telehealth programs.

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42 CFR Part 2 Current Final Rule  

Netsmart played an instrumental role in passage of the Protecting Jessica Grubb’s Legacy Act (the Legacy Act) as part of the CARES Act. These significant amendments to 42 CFR Part 2 substance use treatment privacy regulations align them more fully with HIPAA for the purposes of treatment, payment and health care operations (TPO), while retaining strong penalties for information breaches.

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American Rescue Plan Act

Signed into law March 11, the American Rescue Plan Act is the latest federal legislation designed to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. While much of the nearly $2 trillion bill is focused on financial relief for individuals and businesses, it also includes several significant areas of funding and grant opportunities applicable to human services and post-acute organizations, as well as state, county and local governments.

Netsmart advocated for several provisions in the Act on behalf our clients, including funding to stand up additional Certified Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs), funding for Home & Community-based Services (HCBS), and funds for our government clients hard-hit by COVID-19 expenses.

More Information

  • Download this guide summarizing selected funding and grant opportunities in the legislation, as well as basic preparations your organization can take to qualify.
 

FCC COVID-19 Telehealth Funding - Round 2

The FCC is providing for Round 2 funding for its COVID-19 Telehealth Program with an additional $250 million authorized by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. 41 Netsmart clients were awarded funding in Round 1 (nearly 9% of providers receiving funds).

The same provider groups are eligible in Round 2, and they include community mental health centers, local health departments, skilled nursing facilities, not-for-profit hospitals and rural health clinics.

The FCC has announced that it will release the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for Round 2 on Thursday, May 29 with applications due by the following Thursday, May 6. Netsmart will once again provide our clients with guidance in submitting their applications.

 

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Behavioral Health IT Financing Incentives

Netsmart continues legislative and agency-level advocacy for funding and implementation by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) of Sec. 6001 of the SUPPORT Act. This statute authorizes the testing of incentive payments for behavioral health and substance use treatment providers for adoption and use of certified EHR technology to improve the quality and coordination of care through the electronic documentation and exchange of health information.

More Information

  • Beh. Health IT Coalition news release about the Bipartisan Policy Center integrated care report recommending that Congress fund the EHR financing program
 

42 CFR Part 2 Reform – Next Step

Netsmart played an instrumental role in passage of the Protecting Jessica Grubb’s Legacy Act (the Legacy Act) as part of the CARES Act. These significant amendments to 42 CFR Part 2 substance use treatment privacy regulations align them more fully with HIPAA for the purposes of treatment, payment and health care operations (TPO), while retaining strong penalties for information breaches.

The statutory changes still require that a patient consent to share his or her SUD information for TPO and enable safer, more fully-informed care by a person’s healthcare providers.

The statute will be actuated with a new SAMHSA Final Rule in 2021. Netsmart will work as a member of the Partnership to Amend 42 CFR Part 2 to provide comments in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking phase to help assure the Final Rule closely aligns with the CARES Act statutory language.

Read: Netsmart Summary: The Legacy Act