March 31, 2009
Congressman Bart Gordon (D-TN) has introduced the Medicaid Emergency Psychiatric Care Demonstration Act of 2009 (HR 1415). This legislation would establish a 3-year $75 million demonstration program to allow for coverage for Medicaid patients in freestanding psychiatric hospitals. This proposal would give states the flexibility to remove the Medicaid IMD exclusion for non-public hospitals and allow them to more adequately provide emergency psychiatric services.
A separate law, known as EMTALA (the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act), requires hospitals to stabilize patients in an emergency medical condition. This demonstration project would ensure that Medicaid patients would have coverage for care in non-governmental psychiatric hospitals receiving patients that must be admitted to be stabilized as required under EMTALA and the hospitals would be paid for the services they are required to provide.
This demonstration is designed to ensure that Medicaid beneficiaries living with serious mental illness receive the right care, at the right time and in the right setting. HR 1415 would help promote a more efficient and cost-effective acute psychiatric care delivery system.
Contact Congress today, and tell your House member to support HR 1415, authorizing a demonstration program to lift the IMD exclusion for emergency psychiatric services. Click here to send a letter to your House member!