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January 12, 2023

Around the nation: New York to invest $1B in mental health initiatives

Daily Briefing

    New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) on Tuesday announced a $1 billion investment plan that will expand access to mental health treatments for New Yorkers, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from the District of Columbia, New York, and Virginia.

    • District of Columbia: The Department of Labor announced that the deadline for nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, and tribal organizations to apply to receive up to $6 million each to help train current and former nurses to become nursing educators, and frontline healthcare workers to transition into nursing careers has been extended to Jan. 20. (AHA News, 1/9)
    • New York: Gov. Kathy Hochul on Tuesday announced a $1 billion investment plan that will expand access to mental health treatments for New Yorkers. Under the plan, inpatient psychiatric capacity will increase by 1,000 beds, 3,500 additional units will be created for residents with mental illnesses, and outpatient services and insurance coverage will be expanded. The state also plans to open 150 new adult beds in state psychiatric hospitals, including 100 in New York City, along with the 50 open beds Hochul announced in November. The plan includes measures aimed at increasing accountability for admissions and discharges. For instance, hospitals will be required to "responsibly admit patients in need of care" with new evaluation standards and additional oversight from the state. In addition, EDs and inpatient providers will be required to discharge high-risk, high-need patients into services with immediate availability, including housing or job support. During the discharge process, outpatient programs will also be required to provide immediate and ongoing appointments for high-risk patients. (Neber, Crain's New York Business/Modern Healthcare, 1/10)
    • Virginia: According to a memo from Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, the Pentagon on Tuesday lifted its COVID-19 vaccine mandate—a move that could help the Pentagon increase enrollments and lose fewer troops for noncompliance. Last month, Congress used its annual defense policy bill to lift the mandate. "The Department will continue to promote and encourage COVID-19 vaccination for all service members," Austin said. "Vaccination enhances operational readiness and protects the force." Still, commanders will have the ability to decide whether to deploy troops who have not been vaccinated, "including when vaccination is required for travel to, or entry into, a foreign nation," according to the memo. (Martinez, Axios, 1/10)

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