Medicaid may pay for more inpatient behavioral health services

Lawmakers are considering allowing Medicaid to pay for addiction treatment in larger inpatient facilities, Politico reported Jan. 1. 

Since its inception, Medicaid has been barred for paying for substance abuse or mental health inpatient treatment in facilities with more than 16 beds. The law was intended to encourage community-based behavioral healthcare, which advocates say never materialized. 

A law permitting Medicaid reimbursement for up to one-month stays for substance abuse treatment in hospitals passed the House of Representatives Dec. 12, Politico reported. According to the outlet, the bill is likely to pass the Senate, as a similar proposal passed the Senate Finance Committee in November. 

The Treatment Advocacy Center, the National Alliance on Mental Illness and state Medicaid directors are supportive of the change, Politico reported. Some advocates are against the bill, concerned that expanding treatment to larger institutions could result in more involuntary commitment for patients and hurt community care options. 

Read the full story here. 

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