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Friday Update 7-21-17 

Greetings faithful readers. Nuthin' like some Justin Timberlake to set things right for a Friday. Close the office door and get up and dance to "Can't Stop the Feeling!" and then get to readin' Friday Update, cuz we got work to do!

Most important reads for this week  

HHS Video Campaign Designed to Destroy Obamacare From Within
Man, you can't make this stuff up. While a repeal, repeal/replace bill spins wildly in the Senate, HHS is doing its part to destroy Obamacare from within. In addition to routinely threatening to pull insurance subsidies, weakening enforcement of the individual mandate penalty, and cutting the sign-up period in half to six weeks in the nearly 40 states using HealthCare.gov, HHS is spending taxpayer dollars to fund videos of families, health care providers and small business owners talking about the "burdens" of Obamacare. Take a look and then take a bromo. Shame on you HHS for this irresponsible action to attempt to tear down the existing safety net before an adaptation is in place. 

A Clear Guide to What is Going on with the Health Care Bill
For those of you old enough to remember the guy who used to come on the Ed Sullivan show and spin plates, his act is not too far from what is going on in the Senate around health care reform. Vox has a great article that tries to make sense of it all. Take your vertigo medication and read on!

States Refusing Medicaid Expansion Grapple with Uncompensated Care

Hospitals in states that chose not to expand Medicaid continue to provide uncompensated care for the expansion-eligible uninsured, but nonetheless face steep cuts in federal funding to pay for this care.

Save the Dates!
Save the dates for the 31st Annual Research & Policy Conference on Child, Adolescent, and Young Adult Behavioral Health: March 4 - 7, 2018 in Tampa, FL! Oh man, it's gonna be a good one. Call for Proposals opens August 15th!

USF Looking for an Instructor for Their Online Master of Science Degree in Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health (MSCABH) Program
The Department of Child and Family Studies in the USF College of Behavioral and Community Sciences is seeking a twelve-month non-tenure earning Instructor I at .75 FTE for the fully online Master of Science Degree in Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health (MSCABH) program.

Trauma Is the Gateway Drug – an Ace’s Informed Approach to Substance Abuse Treatment
A trauma-informed approach to substance abuse and dependence brings the potential for deep healing, not just for individuals but our communities as well. Another thought-provoking Morning Zen post from Wayne Munchel. 

HHS Announces the Availability of $195 Million to Expand Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services at Health Centers Nationwide
The United States (U.S.) Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the availability of $195 million in a new funding opportunity for community health centers to expand access to mental health and substance abuse services focusing on the treatment, prevention, and awareness of opioid abuse in all U.S. states, territories, and the District of Columbia. The awards are expected to be made in September of this year. Health centers that receive an award will use the funds to increase the number of personnel dedicated to mental health and substance abuse services, and to leverage health information technology and training to support the expansion of mental health and substance abuse services and their integration into primary care. 

SAMHSA Announces $44.6 Million in Grants to Expand the Behavioral Health Care Workforce
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announced funding of up to $44.6 million for the Addiction Technology Transfer Centers (ATTC) Cooperative Agreements. The purpose of this program is to develop the health care workforce to treat substance use disorders and support recovery. Grantees will establish a network to collaborate with each other and SAMHSA to improve treatment and recovery. The newly created network will feature a National Coordinating Office and ten regional centers spread around the country.

Quickstats: Percentage of Children and Teens Aged 4-17 Years Ever Diagnosed with ADHD, by Sex and Urbanization of County of Residence 
During 2013−2015, the percentage of children and teens aged four to 17 years who had ever received a diagnosis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) was significantly higher among boys than among girls within all urbanization levels. Among boys, those living in small metro and non-metro micropolitan areas were more likely to have received a diagnosis of ADHD than were those living in large central and large fringe metropolitan areas. Among girls, those living in large central areas were less likely to have received a diagnosis of ADHD than those living in each of the other five types of urban/rural areas.

Project ECHO LGBT: Making System Change to Address a High-Risk Population
This SAMHSA ATTC blog post describes Project ECHO LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender), an initiative of CDC, the National Association for Community Health Centers, and the Weizmann Institute, which helped providers at 10 health care centers across the U.S. improve the quality of care for LGBT patients. 

Blog Post: Protecting Our Infants Act: Final Strategy Now Available
This SAMHSA blog post describes the strategy developed by HHS to respond to the unmet needs of pregnant women and their newborns as directed by Protecting Our Infants Act of 2015. The adoption of the effective, evidence-based interventions identified in this strategy will improve care for pregnant and parenting women with opioid use disorder and their infants.

Comments Sought About Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Implementation and the 21st Century Cures Act Part 38
The Departments of HHS, Labor, and the Treasury are seeking comments on how to improve disclosure under the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MPHAEA) and other laws, as required by the 21st Century Cures Act. As part of the solicitation of comments, the Departments are releasing and seeking comments on a draft model form that participants, enrollees, or their authorized representatives could use to request information from their health plan about non-quantitative treatment limitations that affect their mental health or substance use disorder benefits. In addition, the Departments request comments on whether any additional clarification is needed regarding how the requirements of MHPAEA apply to treatment for eating disorders. Comments are accepted through September 13, 2017.


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scottScott Bryant-Comstock
President & CEO
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