'Meet-Me' Calls Address Issues Faced by AMHCA Chapter Leaders
In December, AMHCA inaugurated a series of monthly “Meet-Me” conference calls for state chapter leaders and AMHCA national association leaders to provide:
- Timely and credible information on key federal and state policy, legislative, regulatory, and private practice activities and issues affecting state chapters and members; and
- A platform for the free exchange of ideas, best practices, and lessons learned across AMHCA state chapters.
The first of the hour-long calls took place Dec. 19 and included the two top leaders of AMHCA’s national headquarters—Executive Director and CEO Joel E. Miller, and Associate Executive Director and Director of Public Policy James K. Finley.
For more information about the "Resource Management Guides" and how to use them,
please contact Joel Miller at email@example.com,
or Jim Finley at firstname.lastname@example.org,
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The response was very good, Miller said. “We received significant positive feedback, and chapter leaders were really excited about AMHCA’s effort to try to meet the needs of state chapter leaders in this way.”
To kick off the project, AMHCA provided each state with a customized, 50-page report listing pertinent data about the expected impact of healthcare reform. Miller co-authored the 51 reports—called “NASMHPD Resource Management Guide: Impacts of the ACA on Health Insurance Coverage and Mental Health and Substance Use Services”—prior to his appointment at AMHCA, and they were released after he left the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD) in August.
The reports are valuable to AMHCA chapter leaders because each one provides comprehensive data on the percentage and number of uninsured people with behavioral health disorders who are eligible for health insurance under the new Affordable Care Act (ACA) coverage expansions in each state—and across all states.
The report also provides new data on the projected use rate for behavioral health services under the new expansions expected in the first year of the ACA implementation. Characteristics of the newly insured population in each state are also provided.
AMHCA sent the individual state reports to each chapter so that chapter leaders can use the fact sheet, talking points, and other materials to help facilitate discussions with their state and local policymakers, mental health associations and stakeholder groups, and the media.
Following the first “Meet-Me” calls, another “Meet-Me” call took place Jan. 16. The January call focused on state advocacy strategies and will be summarized in the March Advocate. Future calls are planned for noon to 1 p.m. on Feb. 20 and on March 20.