MANH Lawmakers on the Move, Aug. 7, 2020

Yesterday, U.S. Reps. Carolyn Maloney and Katie Porter (D-CA) and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-CA) sent letters to the nation’s top behavioral health and addiction treatment providers, asking what they’re doing to protect their patients from COVID-19.

The letters went out to the ten largest providers in the nation, each responsible for at least ten inpatient treatment centers nationwide. Among the questions posed in the letter were the number of facilities with COVID-19 outbreaks, the number of staff who have tested positive for the disease, and the facilities’ paid sick leave policies.

A month ago, Maloney and Warren conducted an investigation of the nation’s assisted living facilities, and found that their residents were testing positive for COVID-19 at five times the national average.

“The tragic impact of the pandemic on people struggling with mental health and substance use disorder makes the services provided at your facilities more important than ever,” they wrote. “Yet at the same time, your patients may be especially vulnerable, as they are likely to be isolated from support networks of friends and family during their treatment.”

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