From my INBOX this morning:
As you know, the House Ways and Means Committee released their budget recommendations yesterday. Children’s mental health services faired well and many line items were level funded:
- The CBHI line item was funded at $214.7 million which is the same level as the Governor’s budget.
- The language on reporting requirements for the CBHI line item was included but not in the Governor’s budget.
- The DMH child and adolescent mental health services line item was level funded at $71.4 million from FY11, this is a $2 million increase over the Governor’s budget.
- The mental health consultative services line item under EEC was level funded from FY11 at $750K which also matched the Governor’s budget.
Representative Ruth Balser will file the Massachusetts Child Psychiatry Access Project (MCPAP) legislation as an outside section to the budget at the request of the CMHC.
This would act as a revenue stream for the Commonwealth during these difficult financial times as well as a workforce development program.
MCPAP is run as an “insurance blind” program and is currently funded solely by the Commonwealth. However data collected on participants includes insurance coverage. This data reveals that more than half of those served have commercial coverage.
The goal of MCPAP is to make child psychiatry services universally accessible to primary care providers (PCPs) throughout the Commonwealth who can access a team of child psychiatrists, psychologists and/or social workers via telephone consultation in order to diagnose and treat mental health disorders.
This outside section would requires commercial health insurance companies to proportionally contribute to the funding of the MCPAP at a rate equal to the participation of their membership. This will generate nearly $1.8 million per year to contribute to the cost of the program. Surplus revenue will be directed toward implementation of MCPAP in schools where administrators and teachers struggle daily to deal appropriately and effectively with children showing signs of mental health conditions.
Please CLICK HERE for more information and ask your State Representative today to sign on as a co-sponsor here.
Erin G. Bradley