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NAMI TennesseeDay on the Hill 2021

Sweeping changes to how TennCare can pay for behavioral health services!!

The TennCare III program agreement approved by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services essentially puts TennCare on a fixed budget with spending caps. This approach is the first of its kind in the nation. The Tennessee General Assembly is expected to debate and give final approval to the plan later this week.

NAMI Tennessee has many questions and concerns about the federal government’s decision to allow the state’s TennCare (Medicaid) program to make sweeping changes in how it pays for and provides health care coverage to thousands of people, including those with mental illness.

The agreement indicates that TennCare can reinvest savings by providing services in other areas. Would that include mental health prevention, treatment, or recovery services, given that 1 in 5 Tennesseans have a behavioral healthcare challenge in a given year – before the pandemic.

Will the “quality of care” measures include metrics regarding the delivery of behavioral health care?

Will individuals with a lived experience of mental illness be included in the waiver evaluation process?

While limitations on prescription drugs may not apply to antipsychotic medications, will they apply to other medications to treat anxiety and depression?

Will savings be achieved by reducing payments to mental health care providers, forcing them to drop out of the program and making it difficult for people to find treatment?

Mark your calendars for NAMI Tennessee's VIRTUAL Day on the Hill on Wednesday, Feb. 17.

This year, all Day on the Hill events at the state Capitol have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. So, the advocacy team at NAMI Tennessee has developed some creative ways to continue our mental health advocacy efforts. We're going to do things a bit differently this year.

This year's Day on the Hill will be more than a moment -- it's a movement!

• Participate in "storytelling" trainings

• Talk to your legislator in an online meeting (we'll set it up for you!)

• Meet back up online and share your advocacy stories

• Watch video updates from NAMI Tennessee during the legislative session

• Participate in letter writing campaigns to legislators throughout the session


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