Mental Health Access Improvement Act
On January 31st, the Mental Health Access Improvement Act (S. 286) was re-introduced by Senator Barrasso (R-WY) and Senator Stabenow (D-MI), and the same bill -- H.R. 945 -- was reintroduced and sponsored again by Representative Thompson (D-CA) and Representative Katko (R-NY) in the House. The bills, if passed, would allow mental health counselors to bill Medicare for treating older adults with mental health conditions. AMHCA was instrumental in accelerating the early introduction of S. 286 and H.R. 945 in the new Congressional session.
On August 4, 2019, three U.S. Senators -- Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) sent a "Dear Colleague" letter to all Senators encouraging their fellow Senators to significantly modernize, strengthen and add benefits to the traditional Medicare Program. They have described their rationale in their communication and a key legislative piece -- S. 286, the Medicare Mental Health Access Improvement Act -- is one of the bills they are requesting the Senate pass so the Medicare program continues to provide value to current and future enrollees. Senator Stabenow is the co-sponsor of S. 286 with John Barrasso (R-WY).