2021 KPA Legislative Priorities

TOP PRIORITY BILLS:

● PSYPACT:  Has been filed by Rep. Walker Thomas (R-Hopkinsville) as HB 38, with Rep. Lisa Willner & others as cosponsors. It would put Kentucky into an Interjurisdictional Compact with 13 other states who have also passed the enabling legislation to make it easier for licensed psychologists to be able to provide services across state lines.

● BAN CONVERSION THERAPY:  Has been filed in the House as HB19by Rep. Lisa Willner (D-Louisville), Rep. Kim Banta (R-Fort Mitchell) and other cosponsors and in the Senate as SB30 by Sen. Alice Forgy Kerr (R-Lexington).  It would prohibit any MH professional from practicing conversion therapy with a minor and make them subject to disciplinary action by their licensure board.

● PROTECT MH SAFETY NET IN THE BUDGET:  The Governor has presented his one-year budget and it has been introduced as HB 192.  It would provide financial help to sustain operations for Community Mental Health Centers (CMHCs) & that of other quasi-governmental agencies as part of the state’s retirement system.  It does not cut behavioral health, Medicaid, or education in its present form.  The budget will undoubtedly be modified by action of the General Assembly and advocacy will be needed to maintain assistance to quasi-governmental agencies and no cuts.

● INSURANCE PARITY for MH & SUD:  Has been filed by Rep. Kim Moser (R – Taylor Mill) and cosponsors as HB50.  It would require all insurers and Medicaid to annually file reports with the KY Dept. of Insurance as to how they are implementing the Federal Parity Law (MHPAEA, 2008).

● MINORS’ RIGHT TO MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENT:  Has been filed by Sen. Ralph Alvarado (R-Winchester) as SB21to provide access for homeless youths ages 16 and 17 to mental health treatment without the permission of a parent or guardian.  It is combined with legislation to clear up some transportation problems in getting youths from a hospital without psychiatric services to one that does have services.

OTHER PRIORITY ISSUES:

Support legislation that increases access to behavioral health services and supports a positive climate for psychology providers.

● TELEHEALTH:  HB140has been filed to keep in place the current telehealth expanded rules around platforms and modalities; require parity of reimbursement for telehealth with in-person services. 

● ANNUAL MENTAL WELLNESS EXAM has been filed as HB77 by Rep. Rachel Roberts (D – Newport), Rep. Lisa Willner and other cosponsors to require insurance coverage of an annual mental wellness exam for all covered adults done by a licensed MH Professional and reimbursed on a parity level with an annual physical health exam.

● SPECIAL POPULATIONS:  Support expanded services to address Kentucky’s opioid crisis, Medicaid waiver services for individuals with Severe Mental Illness (SMI) or Acquired Brain Injury (ABI).

● HCR7 filed by Rep. Kim Moser would establish a Severe Mental Illness (SMI) Task Force to improve services and supports.

● Legislation will be filed to create a Medicaid Waiver for SMI individuals to provide supported housing and supported employment services in addition to the regular Medicaid services.

● Legislation from last session will be filed again by Sen. Julie Raque Adams (R-Louisville) to create a Task Force to examine services and supports for the Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) population. 

Support legislation to strengthen PARITY of behavioral health with physical health in all aspects of coverage, benefits, and cost.

Increase psychology’s voice in decisions affecting behavioral health, including support for evidence-based treatments and opposition to treatments found to cause harm.

● OPPOSE CORPORAL PUNISHMENT IN SCHOOLS:   HB134has been filed again by Rep. Steve Riley (R- Glasgow) and cosponsors to ban corporal punishment from being used in any Kentucky school district.

Support legislation that improves health equity for historically marginalized populations including legislation that seeks to address racism and other system inequities.

● RACIAL BIAS IN PERINATAL CARE:  Has been filed as HB 27 by Rep. Attica Scott (D-Louisville) to require evidence-based implicit bias training in all maternity facilities and requires the Cabinet to gather data on maternal morbidity and mortality by race and ethnicity.  A similar bill filed by Rep. Samara Heavrin (R-Leitchfield) as HB 212 would require specific demographic data gathering on maternal and child deaths.  Sen. Gerald Neal (D-Louisville) has filed SB 23 to require a “health disparity impact analysis” on future legislation.

● CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM:   Has been filed as HB 21 by Rep. Attica Scott as “Breonna’s Law” to ban the use of “no-knock” warrants across Kentucky.  Sen. Neal has filed SB40, to analyze race and ethnicity in the criminal justice system.

● BAIL REFORM / EXPUNGEMENT:  Legislation has been filed in past sessions and will probably be filed again to remove cash bail bonds and to expunge criminal records.

● CHW’s:  There will likely be legislation to fund community health workers (CHWs) to link Kentuckians with appropriate health care services, particularly in underserved areas. 

Uphold public protection by opposing legislation allowing non-psychologists to deliver services which are clearly defined as the practice of psychology.

● No specific legislation is anticipated this year, but we will review bills and seek revision of bill language which, if not modified, would infringe on the practice of psychology by those seeking licensure in a profession other than psychology.

Support legislation designed to address social determinants of health to improve population health outcomes in Kentucky.

● SAFETY NET PROGRAMS:  Legislation is likely to again be filed to reduce access to community safety-net programs.  This legislation has been defeated in the past two sessions and needs to be defeated again. 

● LOCAL CONTROL:  Legislation has been filed in the House (HB 147) by Rep. Moser and in the Senate (SB 81) by Sen. Julie Raque Adams (R-Louisville) to put regulation of tobacco pricing and advertising in the hands of local jurisdictions, making it easier to curtail inappropriate ads and “come-on” pricing likely to entice new smokers. 

Maintain Medicaid coverage for all Kentuckians below 138% of the federal poverty level, particularly if the ACA is repealed.

● PROTECT MEDICAID EXPANSION:  Protect coverage of the approximately 800,000+ Kentuckians on the Medicaid rolls under the Medicaid Expansion, assuring that they have continued coverage for dental and vision services, and non-emergency medical transportation.   

● COPAYS:  Legislation (SB55) has been filed again by Sen. Steve Meredith (R-Leitchfield) and Sen. Alvarado to remove the statutory Medicaid copay requirement for recipients who are receiving services.


Past KPA Legislative Priorities

2020 2019 2018 2017