There are cuts in this year’s proposed budget that would equalize medication management rates for community behavioral health providers with primary care physicians. This may seem harmless but what it means is a 56% cut in the rates for community behavioral health providers to provide medication management services. These are the very medications that allow people with severe and persistent mental illness remain stable and safe in their communities. Already, many of these community based mental health providers are operating at a loss and they will have to scale back these services or, more likely, close the programs altogether, limiting access and compromising safety. That is not the only cut. The proposed budget also includes a 10% cut to Section 28 and 65 that would reduce in-home and community based services. Medication management and the services in section 28 and 65 are what allow patients to live safely and happily in their own communities. These services help patients stay out of the emergency room and the criminal justice system.
The Consumer Council System of Maine knows how important these services are. We need your help to make sure that the legislators who are voting on the budget in the next two weeks hear from us. We want to use social media to make sure that the members of the Appropriations committee know what these services mean to us and what enacting these cuts would do to our communities.
CCSM will be posting on Facebook and Twitter frequently over the next week. We need you to help by sharing and re-tweeting as well as expressing your own reasons for support and tagging members of the appropriations committee.
Examples could look like
On Facebook: My family and friends need medication management services from local providers in order to live safely and happily in their own communities. Help protect our community based behavioral health services.
On Twitter: My friends & family need med mgmt to live happily & safely in their communities. Remind legislators that #medmgmtsaveslives! #mepolitics
You can use and follow #medmgmtsaveslives and #mepolitics to really get the word out and magnify our voice. Watch for our posts and help us make sure that these legislators hear from the people who will really be effected by these cuts.