HB 595: Behavioral Health Community Providers - Keep the Door Open Act

The Maryland Catholic Conference (“Conference”) represents the public-policy interests of the three Roman Catholic (arch)dioceses serving Maryland: the Archdiocese of Baltimore, the Archdiocese of Washington, and the Diocese of Wilmington.

HB 595 requires the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to adjust the rate of reimbursement for specified community providers each fiscal year by the rate adjustment included in a specified State budget. The bill also requires that the Governor's proposed budget for a certain fiscal year, and for each fiscal year thereafter, include rate adjustments for specified community providers based on the funding provided in specified legislative appropriations.

The Catholic Church supports legislation that ensures access to quality, affordable, life-giving health care for all. Behavioral health is integral to health of the entire person. For the sake of those who need treatment for mental health, somatic illnesses, and substance use disorders, behavioral health services must have adequate funding so they can keep their doors open –just as the title of this legislation states. A growing number of Marylanders are in need of healing, but previous budgets have not adequately allowed service providers to meet the demand . Every effort must be made to keep services available to all those who are seeking behavioral health care.

The Conference appreciates your consideration and urges you to support HB 595.