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21st Century Cures Act Passes Senate

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21st Century Cures Act Passes Senate

December 8, 2016

On December 7, the Senate passed the 21st Century Cures Act in a vote of 94 to 5. This follows the passage of the bill in the House last week. (See WICs article, "House Passes 21st Century Cures Bill, Senate Set to Vote this Week," December 5, 2016.) Given the overwhelming support in both chambers, it is expected the President will sign it into law before the end of the year.

Kaiser Health News wrote a succinct summary of some of the sweeping bill's major provisions, available here. Of particular interest to ANCOR members are mental health and substance abuse provisions, which will boost funding for mental health research and treatment, and authorize hundreds of millions of dollars for both existing and new programs. The bill also strengthens mental health parity laws, and provides for grants to help build the network of mental health providers. As mentioned in ANCOR's write up on the bill last week, the legislation includes a pay-for in the form of a reduced federal Medicaid match for states that do not implement required electronic visit verification (EVV) on a schedule starting in 2019.