Oct. 6-11: It’s Mental Illness Awareness Week. About 1 in 5 U.S. adults experienced mental illness in 2018 and 4.6% of U.S. adults experienced serious mental illness. Among youth ages 6-17, 1 in 6 experience a mental health disorder every year. During the week, organizations across the country will hold walkathons and other live events and launch multiple social media campaigns to raise awareness about mental illness. See Data Points for information on the connection between mental illness and substance abuse.
Oct. 11: As has become the norm over the past couple of years, a high-stakes health policy debate is taking place in the judiciary branch. The latest battle over Medicaid work requirements moves front and center as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit hears oral arguments on federal waivers granted to Arkansas and Kentucky. U.S. District Judge James Boasberg earlier this year invalidated work requirement waivers in those two states, as well as New Hampshire. He ruled that HHS exceeded its discretionary authority under the Medicaid Section 1115 waiver program in approving waivers that could lead to tens of thousands of people losing Medicaid coverage. The Trump administration disagrees, arguing that it not only had the right to approve the waivers, but that HHS doesn’t have to “quantify the outcomes of experiments in advance.”
Oct. 11: Two task forces charged with helping the federal government on interoperability are slated to meet. The Interoperability Standards Priorities Task Force (which also meets on Oct. 6) makes recommendations on priority uses for health IT, as well as standards and implementation specifications for those uses. Meanwhile, the U.S. Core Data for Interoperability Task Force proposes, you guessed it, data elements for IT interoperability. The task force submitted a set of recommendations earlier this year, which included what types of data could be needed to help with interoperability, including key patient demographic information.