January 2021 Indiana Mental Health News & Updates
1.29.2021 | January 2021 Issue
What is Happening at the Indiana Statehouse:
The following bills were heard in committee this week:
Senate Bills:
Senate Bill 3: TELEHEALTH MATTERS (Charbonneau, E) - Prohibits the Medicaid program from specifying originating sites and distant sites for purposes of Medicaid reimbursement and voids administrative rules with these requirements. Changes the use of the term "telemedicine" to "telehealth". Specifies certain activities that are considered to be health care services for purposes of the telehealth laws. Expands the application of the telehealth statute to additional licensed practitioners instead of applying only to prescribers. Amends the definition of "telehealth". Requires that the telehealth medical records be created and maintained under the same standards of appropriate practice for medical records for patients in an in-person setting. Specifies that a patient waives confidentiality of medical information concerning individuals in the vicinity when the patient is using telehealth. Prohibits certain insurance policies and individual and group contracts from mandating the use of certain technology applications in the provision of telehealth services.
Senate Committee recommends passage, as amended Yeas: 10; Nays: 0

Senate Bill 36: PSYCHOLOGY INTERJURISDICTIONAL COMPACT (Becker, V) - Establishes the psychology interjurisdictional compact concerning interjurisdictional telepsychology and the temporary authorization to practice psychology in another compact state. Sets forth requirements of a compact state. Sets forth the duties of the psychology interjurisdictional compact commission.
Senate Committee recommends passage Yeas: 10; Nays: 0

Senate Bill 59: OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY SERVICES (Becker, V) - Allows an occupational therapist to provide occupational therapy services to an individual during a period of not more than 42 calendar days beginning on the day on which the occupational therapist first provides occupational therapy services to the individual. Allows an occupational therapist to provide occupational therapy services to an individual after the 42 day period only if the occupational therapist obtains a referral from, or acts on the order of, a physician, podiatrist, advanced practice registered nurse, psychologist, chiropractor, optometrist, or physician's assistant. Allows an occupational therapist, without a referral or order from a health care provider, to provide: (1) ergonomic or home assessment services; (2) injury or illness prevention education and wellness services; (3) occupational therapy activities provided in an educational setting; or (4) occupational therapy activities that the medical licensing board of Indiana determines to be appropriate to be conducted in a community based environment.
Senate Committee recommends passage Yeas: 10; Nays: 0

Senate Bill 131:
DISCLOSURES RELATED TO PRESCRIPTION DRUGS (Walker, K) - Beginning January 1, 2022, requires: (1) a state employee health plan, a policy of accident and sickness insurance, and a health maintenance organization contract to provide to a covered individual the wholesale acquisition cost of a prescription drug not later than 60 days after the prescription drug is dispensed or administered to the covered individual; and (2) a state employee health plan, a policy of accident and sickness insurance, and a health maintenance organization contract to provide a covered individual with the amount of the rebate received by the health plan for a prescription drug dispensed for the covered individual if the amount of the rebate exceeds 15% of the wholesale acquisition cost of the prescription drug.

House Bills:
House Bill 1286: TELEHEALTH MATTERS (Lindauer, S) - Prohibits the Medicaid program from specifying originating sites and distant sites for purposes of Medicaid reimbursement and voids administrative rules with these requirements. Changes the use of the term "telemedicine" to "telehealth". Expands the application of the telehealth statute to additional licensed practitioners instead of applying only to prescribers. Amends the definition of "telehealth". Requires that the telehealth medical records be created and maintained under the same standards of appropriate practice for medical records for patients in an in-person setting. Specifies that a patient waives confidentiality of medical information concerning individuals in the vicinity when the patient is using telehealth.

House Bill 1068:
LOCAL JUSTICE REINVESTMENT ADVISORY COUNCILS (Frye, R) - Establishes a local justice reinvestment advisory council (local advisory council) in each county in Indiana. Provides that the purpose of a local advisory council is to review local criminal justice systems, policies, and procedures. Provides that the justice reinvestment advisory council shall assist local advisory councils with promoting: (1) the use of evidence based practices; and (2) certain best practices of community based alternatives and recidivism reduction programs. Sets forth duties of local advisory councils. Requires that the justice reinvestment advisory council conduct a review of community corrections code provisions in the Indiana Code.
House Committee recommends passage, as amended Yeas: 11; Nays: 0


House Bill 1202:
SENTENCING (McNamara, W) - Provides that the department of correction shall identify an inmate to the parole board and provide the parole board with the inmate's offender progress report as soon as practicable after the inmate has been confined to the custody of the department of correction for: (1) 15 consecutive years; (2) 14 consecutive years if the inmate has received one year of educational credit; (3) 13 consecutive years if the inmate has received two years of educational credit; (4) 12 consecutive years if the inmate has received three years of educational credit; or (5) 11 consecutive years if the inmate has received four years of educational credit.


To view more key behavioral health bills Mental Health America of Indiana is tracking, please click HERE!
What is Happening at Mental Health America of Indiana:
The Indianapolis Colts Kicking the Stigma Initiative
Mental Health America of Indiana is excited to announce the new Kicking the Stigma Initiative! Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay shares the organization's support of "Kicking The Stigma," to bring attention to mental health and linebacker Darius Leonard shares how mental illness has affected his life. To learn more about the initiative and how to donate, click HERE!
Regional Recovery Hubs
Mental Health America of Indiana has created Regional Recovery Hubs distributed geographically around the state. These Hubs will expand our ability to connect Hoosiers with mental health and substance use disorders to treatment and recovery supports through Certified Peer Recovery Coaches, Community Health Workers, and Certified Recovery Specialists. These Regional Recovery Hubs will be able to assist individuals with substance use disorder, regardless of where someone is in their recovery journey. We are adding a few new Recovery Hubs, so be on the lookout on new Hubs in your area!
What is Happening Around the State:
The Behavioral Health Commission:
As the governor has appointed our CEO, Steve McCaffrey, as one of the new members of the Indiana Behavioral Health Commission, we hope that you follow along with us! To view the recap of the most recent meeting click the button below!
What is Happening on Capitol Hill:
COVID-19 Relief Bill Funding for Mental Health and Substance Use:
We are very excited that Congress passed COVID-19 relief and allocated $4.25B to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), including substantial increases to the mental health block grant. MHA CEO Paul Gionfriddo urged the mental health community to fight for billions, recognizing the growing need that we were seeing in our screening data. While this is not sufficient, we are thrilled to see a significant step in the right direction. The legislative package also included many other important provisions, including key parity provisions for ensuring greater fairness in insurance practices and increased access to telehealth for mental healthcare in Medicare. That said, there is more work to be done in both areas.

New 988 Number FAQ:
MHA and its affiliate, Vibrant Emotional Health, have developed a new Frequently Asked Questions document on the 988 mental health hotline and crisis response. The new number will be operational by the summer of 2022, but it is important for advocates to understand the changes and advocate now in their states for adequate resources. If fully implemented, the 988 system has the potential to transform crisis response to be more equitable and responsive to individual needs.
Thank You For Supporting Our Mission!
For every dollar raised, Mental Health America of Indiana is able to continue to serve Hoosiers living with mental health conditions and addiction disorders. We hope that you consider giving to our cause and thank you for your support in the fight for victory over mental illness for all!
Thank you to our Annual Sponsors!