Behavioral Health

anxiety for website 2.2020

Behavioral health is a major public health issue in the District of Columbia. Sadly, many of the legislative and regulatory initiatives around behavioral health are tied to other public health concerns, such as opioid addiction, maternal mortality, and health equity.

In partnership with the Washington Psychiatric Society, AMA, and American Psychiatric Association (APA), MSDC works to ensure that patients receive appropriate support for behavioral health issues, that the practice of psychiatry is supported in the District, and that psychiatrists are available to patients in the District.

MSDC was a proud supporter of the Behavioral Health Parity Act of 2017, which enshrined into law that all health plans offered by an insurance carrier meet federal requirements of the Wellstone/Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008.

MSDC Statements and Testimony of Behavioral Health Issues

24th Council period information coming soon


September 20 is MSDC Day of Action on Prior Auth and Copay Accumulators

Sep 7, 2022, 16:45 PM by MSDC staff
Learn how you can make a difference in reforming prior auth in DC

It's time for the DC Council to hear the physician community speak at once on the biggest prescription issues impacting our patients.

MSDC and our partners are launching a day of action on two critical bills that if passed could radically change medicine in DC for the better. Both bills are top priority for the Society and our members, and bills that are widely supported by physicians.

We are asking you, your practice managers, your staff, and patients to contact the DC Council on September 20 and push the Council to pass this year two bills:

  • B24-655, the Prior Authorization Reform Act. This bill would improve the prior authorization process by setting limits on who, when, and how payers can slap prior auths on our medical decisions. This bill has not had a hearing and needs to have a hearing to pass committee.
  • B24-557, the Copay Accumulators Amendment Act. This bill prevents insurers from penalizing patients from using coupons and discounts for specialty drugs. This bill had a hearing - with testimony overwhelmingly in favor - but needs a mark-up to go to the full Council.

How can you participate in the Day of Action? It's easy, not time consuming, and fits into your busy schedule. And MSDC will help:

  1. Look up who are the Councilmembers for your home (if you're a DC resident) and/or practice. You can find your Ward here. Remember your location is represented by your Ward Councilmember, at-large Councilmembers, and the Council Chair.
  2. Email your Councilmembers and their staff asking them to support either or both bills (if they are not already a supporter) and support them being added to the Council agenda this year after markup in the Health Committee.
  3. You can also call your Councilmembers with the same ask. Call the office number and ask to speak to the Councilmember or staff person for the issue.
  4. If you have time, visit your members' offices. Be aware there are visitor restrictions at the Wilson Building.
  5. Let MSDC know who you contact by emailing

Prior Authorization Talking Points 9.20.22

Prior authorization website

Copay accumulator bill talking points

Sample of Legislation MSDC is Tracking in Behavioral Health

(see the whole list of bills here)

Suicide Prevention Continuing Education Amendment Act of 2019 (B23-543)

What does it do? The bill requires licensed health providers to complete 2 hours of CME on suicide prevention, assessment, and screening.

MSDC position: MSDC opposes the bill as written as the language does not encourage physician wellbeing or sufficient awareness of suicide prevention.

Current status: The bill had a hearing with the Committee on Health on June 10.