TAADAS Announces 2021 Legislative and Advocacy Priorities
Over the last several years, TAADAS has made a concerted effort to increase our advocacy work. After assessing the Tennessee and national political landscape and reviewing results from our membership survey, we have chosen to focus on five public policy issues for 2021. Here are the legislative and regulatory priorities TAADAS will pursue:
The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA or Parity Law) promised equity in the insurance coverage of mental health and substance use disorder care, but years later mental health parity is still not a reality and too many Americans continue to be denied care when they need it the most. To fulfill the promise of the Parity law, we must hold health insurance plans accountable to comply with the letter and spirit of the law. The link below will take you to the Department of Commerce and Insurance website to file a parity complaint.
All TAADAS members are invited to attend the monthly Legislative Committee meetings and a standing dinner to follow.
The Legislative Committee meets the Wednesday before each TAADAS Membership Board Meeting at 4:00 PM. Locations will vary, and TAADAS staff will send emails to all committee members proior to the meeting to confirm the location and agenda. Watch this page and your inbox for more details on upcoming meetings!
When: The Wednesday preceeding the board meeting at 4:00 pm.
Where: Locations vary, committee members should check their email for that information.
Research group, The Sycamore Institute, recently released two updates on the opioid crisis in Tennessee with important information for parties interested in addiction. The first resources is a compilation of new policy updates from 2018 that relate to fighting opioid addiction. The second is an update on indicators of progress, detailing the impact of efforts to curb the opioid epedemic so far. Follow the links below to access these resrouces:
To help address the nationwide addiction crisis and strengthen the road to recovery, states need to invest in access to quality recovery housing. Evidence shows that recovery housing is instrumental in helping individuals with substance use disorders achieve and sustain a life in recovery. Despite this, recovery homes are often under-resourced and excluded from public sector policies and resources. In response, the National Council for Behavioral Health and National Alliance for Recovery Residences (NARR) issued Building Recovery: State Policy Guide for Supporting Recovery Housing to assist states with the creation of recovery housing certification programs that standardize recovery housing operations to protect and support residents.
Building Recovery provides states the knowledge and guidance to adopt recovery housing standards, incentivize compliance and invest in recovery housing infrastructure. The toolkit also includes sample resources such as a model state law, a legislative matrix of current and proposed recovery housing bills, an action assessment and list of research briefs that are publicly available for review.
During the 2018 Legislative Session, Governor Haslam proposed and passed a legislative package known as TN Together to aid in battling the state’s opioid crisis. The plan was comprised of two pieces of legislation.
The first bill (HB1831/SB2257) limits the duration and dosage of opioid prescriptions for new patients. With initial opioid prescriptions limited to a 3-day supply, Tennessee will have one of the most strict and aggressive opioid policies in the nation. Prescribers may offer patients a three, five, or 10-day prescription with no more than a 10-day supply subject to a dosage cap. The bill includes exceptions for serious ailments, such as major surgeries and chronic conditions. Although the bill amassed wide support, the Tennessee Medical Association expressed concerns about the possible ramifications on medical provider autonomy.
The second bill (HB1832/SB2258) creates incentives for inmates to complete intensive substance use treatment programs while incarcerated and updates the schedule of controlled substances to better detect and penalize unlawful use and distribution of opioids. It also adds synthetic versions of the drug fentanyl, linked to an alarming number of overdose deaths, to the controlled substance schedules. For more on TN Together visit www.tn.gov/opioids.
The opioid crisis is worsening. Over 42,000 Americans died of opioid overdose in 2016, and government and public health officials are scrambling to find effective ways to reverse this frightening trend.
NSC experts conducted an extensive review of current literature, state legislation and data to create a comprehensive report on the status of the opioid crisis. This white paper evaluates each state's progress in fighting this epidemic, based on the number of these six key actions achieved:
The Prescription Nation 2018 report gives you:
As the death toll from opioid overdose increases, addressing the crisis becomes ever more urgent. Only 13 states and District of Columbia have improved their response to the opioid crisis since our 2016 report. Sadly, eight states earned failing grades this time. Is your state doing enough? What can we do to turn the tide of an epidemic that is endangering the future of our country?
The first-ever Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health reviews what we know about substance misuse and how you can use that knowledge to address substance misuse and related consequences. The last chapter of the Report presents a vision for the future, five general messages, their implications for policy and practice, and recommendations for specific stakeholder groups.
Want to learn about affordable health care and the Coverage Gap? Want to teach your friends? This video explains it all!
In the past 2 years, 7 rural hospitals have closed or drastically altered their services. One reason for these changes is because we don't have a plan to close the coverage gap, and they see too much uncompensated care. Watch the video to find out what hospitals have closed, how that community is affected, and then go to www.tnjustice.org/action to take action.
Stories shared by those in recovery help us to understand the challenges faced when seeking treatment and stabilization. We can help others who face these same hurtles, use the link below to let us know your story and what you faced when seeking treatment services and the ultimate outcome of those services.