Senators Propose Mental Health Reform Act Of 2015

The New Orleans Times-Picayune (8/5, Alpert) reports that yesterday, Sens. Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA), a physician, “joined together…to offer up legislation they hope will result in a substantial upgrade in mental health services.” The legislation proposed by the senators “would encourage states to break down walls between primary care and mental health care.” One of the bill’s provisions would “clarify that federal privacy laws shouldn’t stop mental health professionals from sharing with family members treatment steps and what Cassidy said are ‘important signs to be on the look out for’ following treatment.” Another would “set up an assistant secretary of mental health and substance abuse post at the Department of Health and Human Services.”

National Journal (8/5, Owens, Subscription Publication) explains that the Murphy-Cassidy legislation “works to integrate physical and mental-health care systems, establishes new grant programs for early intervention, improves mental-health services within Medicare and Medicaid, strengthens enforcement of mental-health parity, and establishes committees and roles to specifically work on mental-illness issues.”

Related Links:

— “Sens. Cassidy and Murphy disagree on gun control, but unify for better mental health treatment,” Bruce Alpert, New Orleans Times-Picayune, August 4, 2015.

Posted in In The News.