Urge Gov Cuomo to Sign Bills Improving Vet Services and Medication Access

A L E R T

Two bills of great importance to New York's behavioral health community were sent over to Governor Cuomo's office this past week for his approval and signature that require your support!

* One would require the Veteran's Commission to work with the Departments of Health and Labor and the Office of Mental Health and Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services to create and report annually on a plan to boost coordinated suicide prevention, peer support and employment services for veterans in need.

* The other would require the 21 managed care (health) plans that took over the pharmacy benefit last January to all use on standard form to allow doctors to apply for their patients to have a medication that is not on the plan's approved list (formulary).

Please support them by calling Governor Cuomo this week at (518) 474-8390

and leave the following message:

"I'm a registered voter from (your locality) calling to

urge Governor Cuomo to sign Assembly bills 9415 and A.1024B"

Here are more details about each bill:

"Veterans Mental Health and Chemical Dependency Act", which

* directs the veterans affairs commission to develop and update a New York state interagency plan to improve outreach, assessment and care for veterans and their families who are experiencing mental health, major depression and/or substance abuse problems and

* requires a report be issued each year after the effective date.

Key Bill Excerpt by NYAPRS

"The commission shall develop and update, in consultation with the office of mental health, the office of alcoholism and substance abuse services, department of health and department of labor, a New York State interagency plan to improve outreach, assessment, and care for veterans and their families who are experiencing mental health, major depression and/or substance abuse problems. The plan would address the need for a range of additional services, including, but not limited to:

a. The need for housing that is accessible to veterans with physical and/or mental disabilities;

b. Suicide prevention;

c. Services that address the special needs of female service members or veterans;

d. Services that address the special needs of physically disabled veterans;

e. Peer outreach and support programs;

f. Services to meet the emotional needs of children, spouse, and/or domestic partner of service members or veterans;

g. Services and consultation for veterans in search of employment; and

h. Accessibility and coordination of information."

http://www.assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?sh=printbill&bn=A09415&term=2011

A.1024B (Rivera) which directs the Commissioner Of Health to develop a standard prior prescription drug authorization request form for managed care providers.

Key Bill Excerpt by NYAPRS

The Commissioner of Health shall develop a standard prior authorization request form or forms to be utilized by all managed care providers for purposes of submitting a request for a utilization review determination for coverage of prescription drug benefits under this title. The managed care provider shall make the standard prior authorization request form or forms available to, and shall accept it or them from, prescribing providers in paper and electronic form.

http://www.assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?sh=printbill&bn=A10248&term=2011

THANK YOU!