NAMI
National Alliance on Mental Illness
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Public Policy Update

May 27, 2015
Chris Bouneff, Executive Director

Greetings, NAMI Oregon public policy followers --

It's time for a quick update on the legislative session:

* State economists issued their revenue forecast last week, which is the estimate from which the Legislature will set the 2015-17 budget. Most news reports focused on the "kicker," or the rebate that taxpayers will receive because revenue exceeded projections for the current biennium.

What we were watching, however, was the revenue picture for the next two-year budget cycle, which was generally good with two caveats. The first is that a large chunk of any new revenue will be dedicated to K-12 education, which limits funds available to invest in other services such as mental health and addiction treatment. The second is that looming on the horizon are the millions that the state will eventually have to spend on the Public Employee Retirement System after the Supreme Court recently voided reforms that would have preserved more funding for state programs.

It's unclear what, if any, new investments the Legislature will make in Oregon's community mental health system for 2015-17. However, the outlook is much rosier given Oregon's fairly strong economic performance. A summary of the forecast for the current and future bienniums can be found here.

* What does the good revenue picture mean for NAMI's housing development incentive fund legislation? We still don't know and may not know for several more weeks as legislative leaders who are charged with drafting a budget conduct their detailed work. House Bill 2825 is still NAMI's top priority this legislative session.

* Other bills of note are HB 2023 and HB 2948. The first bill, HB 2023, would require hospitals to create and publish protocols for discharge planning for patients hospitalized for mental health treatment. This is important legislation that, hopefully, will lead to more predictable and systematic discharge planning that better engages patients and their identified caregivers.

HB 2948 places in Oregon statute clarifications around privacy restrictions related to the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, known as HIPAA.

Both bills have passed through the House and had their public hearings before the Senate Health Care Committee earlier this week. NAMI Oregon submitted testimony in favor of HB 2023, which you can read here.

You can watch a video of the testimony here, which featured NAMI Multnomah member Julie Majors and personal testimony from Jennifer Pepin.

Both bills are scheduled for a work session on May 27, when the Senate committee may take action on the legislation. If they pass out of committee, they will head to the Senate floor for a final vote.

This is just a snippet of what's going on. As always, please email me with any questions or comments.

Thanks,

Chris

------------------
National Alliance on Mental Illness

Chris Bouneff
Executive Director
NAMI Oregon
4701 SE 24th Suite E
Portland, OR 97202
503-230-8009 ext. 202
fax 503-230-2751
chris@namior.org 
www.namior.org 

Join Us on Facebook:
www.facebook.com/NAMIOregon 

 

2014 Public Policy Survey Results

NAMI member and allies overwhelmingly picked housing as their top priority in our recent public policy priorities survey. Click here to read the results and summary of the survey, which will be discussed at June's public policy meeting.

NAMI Oregon Releases Health Transformation Guide

Many Oregonians may still be puzzled by the term "health transformation," but the changes forthcoming in Oregon's Medicaid system could vastly improve health care in our state or just be another shot in the dark that fails to hit its intended target. NAMI Oregon has long advocated for an integrated health care system that focuses on individual and family health. To that end, NAMI Oregon is pleased to issue its "Policy Guide to Health Transformation and Integration in Oregon" that collects all of NAMI's various positions on health care transformation into one document. This will serve as our guiding vision for our advocacy on health care reform.

Please see previous Public Policy Updates below.

Previous Public Policy Updates

Stay involved with us - sign up for our e-news and legislative alerts, and click the links below to view minutes from Public Policy Committee meetings.

Tell us your story - if you have a personal story that illustrates the need for changes in statewide mental health policy and you would like to become an advocate for policy improvement, complete our Advocate Information Form and return it to us today.

HIPAA Privacy Rule Clarification

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has issued a clarification on when it is appropriate for mental health care providers to share information protected under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule, especially with family members and loved ones. The HIPAA Privacy Rule allows for health care providers to share information about a patient's care with family members not only when permission has been expressly granted, but also in circumstances when the patient may be unable to grant permission but the provider deems sharing information will be in the patient's best interest. For details, read the HIPPA Privacy Rule guidance.

Communication Checklists

Communication between care providers and family members of patients seeking treatment for mental illness improves the quality of care and reduces the risk of suicide for these patients. While confidentiality is a fundamental component of a therapeutic relationship, misunderstandings by clinicians about the limitations created by HIPAA, FERPA, and state laws for preserving confidentiality has caused unnecessary concern regarding disclosure of relevant clinical information. 

To address this deficit of communication, the Oregon Council on Child and Adolescent Psychiatry published a checklist for mental health providers in 2012.  The authors, Dr. Stewart Newman and Jerry Gabay (NAMI Oregon Board Member), have created a companion checklist to help families seek information from providers. Click here to view both the provider checklist and the family member checklist.


Related Files

Public Policy Committee meeting minutes - August 2010 (PDF File)
Public Policy Committee meeting minutes - September 2010 (PDF File)
Public Policy Committee meeting minutes - November 2010 (PDF File)
Public Policy Committee meeting minutes - February 2011 (PDF File)
Public Policy Committee meeting minutes - March 2011 (PDF File)
Public Policy Committee meeting minutes - April 2011 (PDF File)
Public Policy Committee meeting minutes - May 2011 (PDF File)
Public Policy Committee meeting minutes - October 2011 (PDF File)
Public Policy Committee meeting minutes - November 2011 (PDF File)
Public Policy Committee meeting minutes - January 2012 (PDF File)
Public Policy Committee meeting minutes - February 2012 (PDF File)
Public Policy Committee meeting minutes - March 2012 (PDF File)
Public Policy Committee meeting minutes - June 2012 (PDF File)
Public Policy Committee meeting minutes - August 2012 (PDF File)
Public Policy Committee meeting minutes - November 2012 (PDF File)
Public Policy Committee meeting minutes - December 2012 (PDF File)
Public Policy Committee meeting minutes - January 2013 (PDF File)
Public Policy Committee meeting minutes - March 2013 (PDF File)
Public Policy Committee meeting minutes - December 2013 (PDF File)
Advocate Information Form (Word Document)
June 2011 Public Policy Update (PDF File)
July 2011 Public Policy Update (PDF File)
October 2011 Public Policy Update (PDF File)
November 2011 Public Policy Update (PDF File)
December 2011 Public Policy Update (PDF File)
January 2012 Public Policy Update (PDF File)
February 2012 Public Policy Update (PDF File)
March 2012 Public Policy Update (PDF File)
May 2012 Public Policy Update (PDF File)
August 2012 Public Policy Update (PDF File)
October 2012 Public Policy Update (PDF File)
February 2013 Public Policy Update (PDF File)
March 2013 Public Policy Update (PDF File)
April 2013 Public Policy Update (PDF File)
July 2013 Public Policy Update (PDF File)
December 2013 Public Policy Update (PDF File)
January 2014 Public Policy Update (PDF File)
March 2014 Public Policy Update (PDF File)
October 2014 Public Policy Update (PDF File)
January 2015 Public Policy Update (PDF File)
CCO Basics Fact Sheet (PDF File)
CCOs By County (PDF File)
DOJ Civil Agreement (PDF File)
2013 Legislative Priorities (PDF File)
Housing Bill Summary (PDF File)
Budget Fact Sheet (PDF File)
Medication Access Fact Sheet (PDF File)
Human Services and Housing Committee list (PDF File)
2014 Public Policy Survey (PDF File)
State Budget (PDF File)
Medical Access House Bill 2421 (PDF File)
Housing Funding House Bill 2825 (PDF File)
February 2015 Public Policy Update (PDF File)
Housing Fund Testimony (PDF File)
February 27, 2015 Public Policy Update (PDF File)
March 2015 Public Policy Update (PDF File)
April 2015 Public Policy Update (PDF File)
May 4, 2015 Public Policy Update (PDF File)

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