This week we’re catching up on recent Hill hearings on SSDI and mental health reform, plus state trends toward formularies and the like for prescription drugs for mental health conditions.
- The debate on SSDI reform is underway following last week’s Senate Budget Committee hearing on the long-term health of Social Security. POLITICO magazine is exploring the GOP’s case, while The Baltimore Sun is sharing that the number of people receiving disability insurance payments declined for the first time since 1983. The Fiscal Times also has a handy summary.
- More from the Hill: Following a House Energy & Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearing on federal mental health programs, Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary Richard Frank shared that the agency would be “tak[ing] seriously the GAO’s recommendation to… enhance current coordination efforts.” Frank’s full testimony appears here.
- On a related note, Huffington Post is featuring a post by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) head Pamela Hyde highlighting improvements to the nation’s mental health system included in the president’s proposed Fiscal Year 2016 Budget. Sneak peek: The budget would expand available SAMHSA services.
- A quick view from the states: The number of states allowing Medicaid beneficiaries unfettered access to prescription drugs for mental health conditions is fast changing, per the Kaiser Health Institute. Kansas is exploring closer regulation of such prescriptions partly in response to a 2009 report by the Kansas Health Policy Authority.
- Also, Disability Scoop is following a federal investigation of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families after a newborn was removed from the custody of young woman with intellectual disability and placed in foster care two days after birth.
- TIME magazine’s Money blog is weighing the costs and benefits of long-term care insurance as a compliment to Social Security disability and retirement benefits.