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CMS Announces New Medicaid Demonstration Opportunity to Expand Mental Health Treatment

Posted on Friday, November 16, 2018 5:17 PM

This week, CMS sent a letter to State Medicaid Directors that details existing and new opportunities for states to design innovative service delivery systems for adults with serious mental illness (SMI) and children with serious emotional disturbance (SED). 

It is estimated that one-quarter of all adults with a SMI is on Medicaid.  In 2016, approximately 10.4 million adults had a serious mental illness, yet only 65% received treatment. 

 “More treatment options for serious mental illness are needed, and that includes more inpatient and residential options. As with the SUD waivers, we will strongly emphasize that inpatient treatment is just one part of what needs to be a complete continuum of care, and participating states will be expected to take action to improve community-based mental health care,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar. “There are effective methods for treating the seriously mentally ill in the outpatient setting, which have a strong track record of success and which this administration supports. We can support both inpatient and outpatient investments at the same time. Both tools are necessary, and both are too hard to access today.”

Click here for the full press release.


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