The Florida Behavioral Health Association led a team of seventeen Floridians who participated in the National Council Hill Day 2019 held September 18. The goal of Hill Day is to bring mental health and substance use disorder awareness to Congress. Priorities advocated this year included: continued opioid attention and funding, removal of the waiver requirement for healthcare providers to prescribe buprenorphine, removal of Medicare’s exclusion for marriage and family therapists and mental health counselors to bill Medicare, reinstating Medicaid eligibility for incarcerated individuals 30 days prior to release, and expansion of Certified Community Behavioral Health Centers.
The Hill Day advocacy was effective with 27 Congressmen joining as co-sponsors on the above bills including Florida’s Al Lawson. The Florida team held meetings in the offices of both Florida U.S. Senators and in the offices of 22 members of the Florida Congressional delegation.