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:

CCBHCs in the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act

S. 2938

  • This bill, signed into law on June 26, includes $8.5 billion in funding for extension and expansion of the successful Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) Medicaid state financing demonstration program
  • Adds 10 new states to the demonstration program beginning in July 2024 and 10 additional states every two years
  • Provides planning grants to help new states develop proposals to participate in the demonstration program
  • Extends enhanced match for the original 8 demo states through Sept. 2025
  • Provides Kentucky and Michigan (the 2 newest demo states) funding for 6 additional years beyond their launch dates
  • As the technology partner for more than 100 CCBHCs across the country, Netsmart provided ongoing advocacy for extension and expansion of the CCBHC program alongside the National Council for Mental Wellbeing and other associations

More Information
National Council for Mental Wellbeing analysis of Bipartisan Safer Communities Act
National Council for Mental Wellbeing CCBHC Impact Report – May 2021
Speak with a Netsmart CCBHC Specialist

Behavioral Health Information Technologies Now (BHIT Now) Act

H.R. 7427
S. 987

  • Provides $250 million in funding for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) to implement a behavioral health IT financing demonstration program authorized in the SUPPORT Act in 2018
  • This funding would help behavioral health providers with limited resources adopt certified EHRs and related technology needed to share clinical data for the effective integration of mental health and acute care
  • Netsmart and the BHIT Coalition led advocacy instrumental to the introduction of the BHIT Now Act in the House in early April 2022 and a similar provision included as Section 207(a) in the CARA 3.0 Act of 2021 introduced in the Senate.
  • Advocacy now in progress to gain co-sponsors and committee support in the House and Senate
  • Thanks to lead House bill sponsors Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA-6) and Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK-2)…and original co-sponsors Rep. Sharice Davids (D-KS-3) and Rep. Ron Estes (R-KS-4)
  • Thanks also to Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) for including the behavioral health IT funding provision in the CARA 3.0 Act of 2021.

More Information
Matsui news release
Mullin news release
KS: Summary from the BHIT Now Coalition
BHIT Coalition letter of support
Electronic Health Record Association letter of support
Tackling America’s Mental Health and Addiction Crisis Through Primary Care Integration – Bipartisan Policy Center Task Force report recommending Congressional funding for the CMMI BHIT pilot (p. 80)

9-8-8 Implementation Act of 2022

H.R. 7116

  • Authorizes funding through a variety of sources to help states, counties and community providers facilitate 988 response and a related continuum of services.
  • Supports the full continuum of local crisis response efforts including call centers, mobile crisis teams and crisis centers, all of which would connect residents in crisis with trained first responders and mental health providers and evidence-based services

More Information
News Release – Cong. Tony Cárdenas (D-CA-29), Lead Sponsor

Preserving Access to Home Health Act of 2022

S. 4605
H.R. 8581

Access to home health is critical to the future of our nation’s healthcare system and the millions receiving these services today. Netsmart home health clients and other home health providers nationwide would face severe negative economic and operational impacts from rate cuts in the proposed Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Home Health Prospective Payment System (HHPPS) for CY2023:

  • A permanent -7.69% cut to Medicare home health services. According to the Partnership for Quality Home Health Care (PQHH), this equates to a $1.33 billion payment reduction in 2023 alone.
  • Additional cuts of more than $2 billion in 2024 and the years beyond. This is a clawback of payments provided for healthcare services during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021.
  • In total, proposed cuts could reach $18 billion over the next 10 years.

A National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) analysis indicates that 44% of freestanding home health agencies will be operating with costs exceeding revenue if the current proposed payment rule were to go into effect in 2023.

The Preserving Access to Home Health Act of 2022 was introduced in the U.S. Senate on July 28 along with a companion bill in the House. The legislation prevents the proposed cuts to home health from taking effect prior to 2026. This provides time to implement a payment system update based on full, current, accurate information.

Please add your voice…consider visiting the NAHC CALL TO ACTION web page for more information and a fast and easy way to ask your members of Congress to support the Preserving Access to Home Health Act of 2022.

More Information
Home Health Care News article, July 28, 2022
Assessment of 2020 PDGM Budget Neutrality using the FY 2023 SNF PPS Proposed Rule Parity Adjustment Methodology (from the Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare)

Choose Home Care Act of 2021

S. 2562
H.R. 5514

  • Gives qualified Medicare patients the choice to receive a range of services in their home for up to 30 days after discharge from a hospital
  • Provides add-on payments for therapy, skilled nursing, primary care, personal care, continuous remote patient monitoring, meals, home adaptations and non-emergency transportation
  • Eligible patients would be referred to a Home-Based Extended Care-qualified Home Health Agency that offers the Choose Home benefit
  • Home health-specific services could continue beyond the initial 30 days as clinically indicated
  • Provides an opportunity for market expansion and further diversification of services by Netsmart post-acute clients
  • Advocacy currently focused on gaining additional co-sponsors in the House and Senate

More Information
NAHC/PQHH Issue Brief

EVV in 21st Century Cures 2.0 Act

H.R. 6000

  • The CURES 2.0 Act includes a change to Medicaid electronic visit verification (EVV) requirements that would maintain the mandate (and associated penalties) for states to require an electronic visit verification for personal care and home health care services but would prohibit geolocation and biometrics as part of such systems.
    • An evaluation by ADvancing States indicates this would force states with GPS/geolocation or biometric components in their EVV systems to dismantle their existing systems and build new ones or, at a minimum, make significant changes to their current IT system
  • Netsmart’s position is to continue to advocate for the use of point-in-time data capture leveraging EVV

More Information
Joint letter about Cures 2.0 EVV provision – ADvancing States, NASDDS, NAMD

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
  • The Legacy Act made significant amendments to 42 CFR Part 2 substance use treatment privacy regulations to 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 will enable safer, more fully-informed care by a person’s healthcare providers
  • The statute will likely be actuated with a new SAMHSA Final Rule in 2022. 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.

More Information
Netsmart Summary: The Legacy Act
Recommendations for the Next Final Rule – Partnership to Amend 42 CFR Part 2

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