NJAMHAA Has Impact and Depends on Members for Insights
“NJAMHAA’s role and impact in the field of mental health has been tremendous and with the landscape becoming more complex, it can only be more important moving into the future,” said Anthony DiFabio, PsyD, Chief Executive Officer of Robins’ Nest and long-time NJAMHAA member.
Changes are always happening – that’s the increasingly complex landscape Dr. DiFabio refers to and it presents many challenges for providers of not only mental health care, but also substance use and developmental disabilities services.
Most notably and most concerning, nowadays, are the transition to fee-for-service (FFS) reimbursement for providers of mental health care and substance use treatment for children and adults. On the federal level, the possible repeal and inadequate replacement of the Affordable Care Act and proposed significant funding cuts to Medicaid.
To address these major issues and many others that affect our members’ abilities to provide services to everyone in need, NJAMHAA regularly meets and corresponds with State Legislators and key policymakers (e.g., Departments of Human Services and Children & Families) and our Congressional delegates. We demonstrate the value of our members’ life-saving and life-enhancing services and reinforce the critical need to ensure access to these services. We communicate this message even farther through traditional and social media. We undertake these initiatives as part of our constant pursuit of our mission:
To promote the value of its members as the highest quality behavioral healthcare providers for the residents of New Jersey through advocacy and professional development.
For professional development, we offer numerous training opportunities throughout the year.
Our advocacy has had a significant impact and we are the recognized leader in advocacy and achievement for New Jersey’s community mental health, substance use and developmental disabilities system. Highlights of our advocacy achievements include:
▪ Significant input into the FFS oversight legislation, its passage and signing into law▪ Increase of several FFS reimbursement rates for mental health, substance use and Community Support Services (CSS), most notably the doubling of medication monitoring rates
▪ Option for transition dates for mental healthcare and CSS providers
▪ Substantial input that was used in the development of proposed legislation for safety net funding for mental health agencies transitioning to FFS on July 1, 2017, and expansion of screening centers and Early Intervention Support Services
▪ Preservation of funding for mental health and substance use services, including many children's behavioral health services, in the FY 2017 State Budget: All of the new funding proposed by the Governor was maintained.
▪ For the FY 2018 State Budget, Gov. Christie cited funding increases for mental health, addiction and developmental disabilities services, and we continue to advocate to help ensure State Legislators vote in favor of this funding.
On the federal level, our advocacy contributed to the passage of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act and the 21st Century Cures Act, which includes a $1 billion, two-year appropriation (almost $12 million to New Jersey for two years) to fight the opioid crisis.
The effectiveness of our advocacy is a result, in large part, to our members’ active involvement. They share their perceptions of and experiences with changes in funding, regulations and laws, as well as their clients’ success stories. We incorporate this invaluable information into our advocacy, our communication with traditional media representatives and on social media.
Please click here to learn more about how NJAMHAA membership can reinforce your organization and career, and how your involvement can help strengthen New Jersey’s mental health, substance use and developmental disabilities system.