The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) Friday announced two initiatives to expand child and adolescent services, in addition to peer recovery services, to help Marylanders who are experiencing behavioral health crises. Beginning this week, MDH will issue $17.7 million in grant funding among local behavioral health authorities statewide to help increase access to walk-in and … Read more

As Maryland lawmakers are preparing to introduce final bills for the 2022 legislative session by next week, three bills across both chambers are specifically addressing the ongoing health workforce shortage in the state.      Senate Bill 440 passed its second reading with amendments on Thursday. Sponsored by Sen. Pamela Beidle (D – Anne Arundel), … Read more

Addressing social determinants of health (SDOH) and integrating health and social services are top priorities in the Maryland Community Health Resources Commission’s (CHRC) FY 2022 Call for Proposals, released earlier this month. The grant program, titled “Promoting Community Health Resources,”  will award a total of $7 million over a maximum of three years.     … Read more

Governor Larry Hogan announced his FY 2023 budget last week, marking his eight and final proposal in office. This includes a record $3.6 billion increase for Maryland’s Rainy Day Fund, and projects the first long-term, structurally-balanced budget in nearly 25 years, according to the budget announcement.      Here are a few health care budget … Read more

Behavioral health is currently the top priority in Maryland’s health care sphere, according to Del. Joseline Pena-Melnyk (D – Anne Arundel), Chair of the Maryland House Public Health and Minority Health Disparities Subcommittee.  The subcommittee met this week to hear updates from the Health Services Cost Review Commission (HSCRC), which devised a workgroup to address … Read more

Delegate Bonnie Cullison (D – Montgomery) is a member of the Maryland House Health and Government Operations Committee. The 2022 Legislative Session began earlier this month and the committee is currently reviewing over 60 health bills, including nine from Cullison.  In this Q&A, Cullison shares her health care priorities which include behavioral health during the … Read more

The demand for pediatric mental health services, particularly for more complex diagnoses, increased in Maryland during the COVID-19 pandemic according to a study from Psychiatric Services released this week.  Amie F. Bettencourt, Ph.D, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, led the research effort, which studied increases in call … Read more

Medicaid reimbursement rates, behavioral health, COVID relief funds, and more are tee’d up in Maryland’s fiscal year 2023 budget plan. The Department of Legislative Services’ Office of Policy Analysis released its Spending Affordability Briefing this month, and outlined appropriations ahead of the upcoming legislative session.      Due to an influx of federal aid, such … Read more

“Fiasco,” “debacle,” and “administrative nightmare” were among the words behavioral health providers and legislators used to describe the ongoing claims reconciliation process with the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) and its system vendor, Optum, at the House Health and Human Services Subcommittee meeting last week.     Optum’s system officially launched back in Jan. 2020 … Read more