CMS launches first behavioral health pilot in DC

CMS approved its first demonstration project to expand behavioral health treatment for Medicaid beneficiaries with serious mental illness living in the District of Columbia, the agency announced Nov. 6.

The pilot is being launched with a Section 1115 Medicaid waiver, which will allow Medicaid to reimburse short-term residential stays in psychiatric hospitals for patients with serious mental illness, opioid use disorder or other substance use disorders. Previously, federal law kept states from receiving the federal Medicaid match for Medicaid patient stays in psychiatric hospitals.

"Today's historic approval will substantially increase the range of services that are available to meet the needs of the District's Medicaid beneficiaries who are diagnosed with serious mental illness and substance use disorder," CMS Administrator Seema Verma said in a press release. "This integrated approach supports the District's goals of reducing opioid misuse and overdose deaths — while expanding the continuum of mental health and substance use treatment options for individuals in need."

CMS noted that the demonstration will also help better meet the needs of homeless people with serious mental illness and/or substance use disorder.

Read more here.


More articles on population health:

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14 healthcare systems invest $700M in community, reducing health disparities
U of Utah gets $150M pledge for mental health research, services

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