Hearing Notice: Subcommittee on Health

March 27, 2014

The Subcommittee on Health, chaired by Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA), has scheduled a hearing for Thursday, April 3, 2014, at 10:30 a.m. in room 2322 of the Rayburn House Office Building. The hearing will focus on the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act. Witnesses to be announced.

Subcommittee members will review H.R. 3717, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, legislation introduced by Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chairman Tim Murphy (R-PA). H.R. 3717 builds on the committee’s review of the nation’s mental health system and would take steps to address the weaknesses the committee found. The legislation seeks to improve access to and delivery of psychiatric care for patients and families most in need of services. It would address the psychiatric inpatient bed shortage, offer more alternatives to institutionalization, encourage greater research and innovation in treating serious mental illness, and address the issue of those with mental illnesses in the criminal justice system. The Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee recently held a hearing to review the lack of access to psychiatric beds for the seriously mentally ill. 

“The yearlong Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee investigation revealed that individuals diagnosed with a severe and persistent mental illness are more likely to end up in jail or on the streets because of the broken mental health system,” said Murphy. “From breaking down the barriers that keep parents and relatives from being part of the care team, to fixing misunderstood HIPAA rules and expanding access to evidence-based treatment, the Helping Families In Mental Health Crisis Act will turn the sorrow of loss and tragedy into the joy of recovery for millions of families across the country.”

The Majority Memorandum, a witness list, and witness testimony will be available here as they are posted.

NOTE: Murphy will headline a panel discussion Friday, March 28, at the American Enterprise Institute entitled “Fixing the mental health care system: What Congress can do.” The forum, which will commence at 10:00 a.m. will also include former Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) and will be held at AEI’s offices in Washington, DC. More information can be found here.