A change in a federal Medicaid rule is expected to allow more Ohioans to get mental-health services (Source: “Change in 52-year-old Medicaid rule will expand mental-health care,” Columbus Dispatch, April 23, 2017).
Effective July 1, Medicaid recipients ages 21 to 64 who are in a managed-care plan will be eligible for up to 15 days of inpatient mental-health treatment. The program specifically exempted that group from inpatient coverage since it was founded in 1965. Medicaid now insures 3 million poor and disabled Ohioans.
At the same time, the state is setting new rules to better monitor long waiting lists for people seeking drug-addiction treatment.
Greg Moody, director of the Governor’s Office of Health Transformation, said the Medicaid rule change “opens a new source of reimbursement for a critical service.”
Moody said inpatient mental-health treatment originally was banned to avoid “mental asylums,” where people were locked away in institutions for months or years. A system of home and community mental-health programs was created, although critics point out alternatives were never adequately funded.