HHS Standing Committee Newsletter | May 25 Edition

5/25/2021

HHS Newsletter

From Congress

House Ways and Means Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Foster Youth | May 12, 2021

The Subcommittee on Worker and Family Supports held a hearing that included a diverse panel of experts on foster youth. Speakers included national experts, foster care providers and former foster youth. Watch the full hearing here.

House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee Hearing on Fiscal Year 2022 HHS Budget | May 12, 2021

The Subcommittee on Health held a hearing on the Department Health and Human Services Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 budget. The committee heard from HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra on the administration’s release of its FY 2022 discretionary funding request, including a $131.7 billion for the HHS and its relevant agencies.

Senate Committee Hears from States on Mental Health | May 12, 2021

The Senate Finance Committee heard from state officials on the impacts of the pandemic on mental health, substance abuse and addiction and how to move forward in each area. Panelists discussed how enhanced flexibilities in telehealth and more flexible prescribing options for addiction treatment could be models to use for communities moving forward.

From the Courts

U.S. Supreme Court to Take up Roe v. Wade Related Case | May 17, 2021

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a case challenging whether a woman has a constitutional right to an abortion before a fetus becomes viable. Read more

From the Administration

U.S. Department of Treasury Announces Interim Rule on State and Local COVID-19 Relief Funds | May 2021

The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced the launch of the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds program authorized by the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act. As part of the announcement, the Treasury released an Interim Final Rule,  including a fact sheet for the program that describes eligible uses of the funding to include revenue shortfalls. NCSL summarized what funds can be used for including additional HHS provisions. Read more.

New Increased Medicare Payment Rate for COVID-19 Treatment | May 2021

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced increases in the Medicare payment rate for monoclonal antibodies to treat individuals with COVID-19, coverage will continue under the Medicare Part B COVID-19 vaccine benefit. Beneficiaries do not have to pay for anything out of pocket, regardless of where they receive care. This will increase the national average payment rate from $310 to $450 for most health care settings and established a higher national payment rate of $750 when the antibodies are administered in an individual’s home, including temporary lodging. Increased rates reflect information provided to the CMS about the costs of providing them in a safe and timely manner, including protecting providers and patients.

The Administration of Children and Families (ACF) Announces State and Territory Funding | May 5, 2021

The ACF issued guidance on the use of the $350 million for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention grants (CBCAP) and the $100 million for Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) state grants provided for in the ARP. The programs support state and community efforts to prevent and respond to child abuse and neglect.

The Office of Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) Releases Research on Virtual Human Services | April 30, 2021

The ASPE recently released a report on the effectiveness of virtual human services and an examination of the current limitations on data collection.

Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Awards $40 million for Emergency Home Visiting | May 11, 2021

The ARP included $150 million for the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program, and $40 million in emergency home visiting funds  states, territories and the District of Columbia to assist children and families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Funds will be used to provide services and emergency supplies, including diapers, food, water and hand sanitizer. Services and supplies will be for families that cannot access home visiting services because of the pandemic, including technology to participate in virtual home visits.

Pfizer Vaccine Endorsed in Ages 12 to 15 | May 12, 2021

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective to use in 12- through 15-year-old adolescents. The CDC recommends that the vaccine can be administered by providers right away.

Home and Community Based Services Guidance Released | May 13, 2021

The CMS released guidance on ARP funding for Medicaid Home and Community Based Services (HCBS). The guidance includes which HCBS services could receive a 10% Federally Assisted Medical Percentage increase if states choose to apply. The services must supplement or enhance current HCBS and not supplant them. States can submit fiscal plans and narratives to the CMS within 30 days of the guidance’s release.

Webinar on Trauma-Informed Practices Held| May 26, 2021

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Gather, Assess, Integrate, Network and Stimulate Center held a webinar, “Fostering Trauma-Informed Practices in Your Courtroom: Approaches for Judges, Court Staff and Providers,” to discuss the importance of adopting trauma-informed approaches in drug treatment courts. The agency will also be providing information on implementing trauma-informed practices.

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