WASHINGTON—Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-02) yesterday, during the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee hearing on mental health legislation, highlighted the recent successes in breaking down barriers to mental health care and discussed what else can be done to improve access to care.
H.R. 748, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, included a provision championed by Congressman Mullin aligning the outdated and restrictive law and regulations, collectively known as 42 CFR Part 2 (or “Part 2”), with the patient privacy protections currently in place under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This allows the medical community to utilize substance use disorder treatment records in the same manner as all other medical records while still protecting patient privacy.
Mullin also called for the passage of his bill, H.R. 884, the Medicare Mental Health Access Act, which would expand the definition of “physician” under the Medicare program to include a clinical psychologist for services within the psychologist’s scope of practice. This would allow for seniors, especially those in rural areas, to get access to the mental health care they need.