NYAPRS: States Grow Medicaid Private Psych Beds, 15 New Private Facilities Expected

States Grow Medicaid Private Psych Beds, 15 New Private Facilities Expected
NYAPRS E News February 8, 2017

Over the last few years, a number of mental health advocacy groups, including NYAPRS, had opposed allowing Medicaid to fund state and private psychiatric beds under the belief that expansions of public dollars of such magnitude should instead be used to grow community support and diversionary approaches. On the other hand, substance use treatment advocates were strongly in favor of such proposals since Medicaid has not previously paid for inpatient SU treatment.

While such a proposal was included in federal mental health legislation proposed by Rep. Tim Murphy, it turned out that subsequent federal changes in Medicaid managed care rules ultimately permitted such changes, limiting Medicaid funding to 15 days per month in these facilities.

Politico reports today that a number of states are lining up to get federal approval to implement such policies, including Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Utah, Virginia, Indiana and Arizona. Maryland received approval to use Medicaid to fund inpatient substance use treatment facilities in December.

According to Politico, “officials estimated that allowing these facilities to be reimbursed by Medicaid would provide beneficiaries access to at least 15 new psychiatric hospitals. They added it would also allow 12 more facilities with fewer than 16 beds the ability to increase capacity.”

Some states are already asking to extend Medicaid authority to fund such beds for 28 day periods and some are asking to extend this policy beyond Medicaid Managed care beneficiaries.