Medicaids Role in Behavioral Health

Guests: Dan Russell, CEO- BIO and Sheila Putnam Director Care Management -BIO

Is there an Emergency?

“For some low-income and disabled Medicaid beneficiaries with the most acute psychiatric needs, pervasive holes exist in the Medicaid system and have kept needed care out of their reach, said Mark Covall, president and CEO of the National Assn. of Psychiatric Health Systems.

Medicaid is the single-largest payer for mental health services. Yet “there is an access issue with respect to Medicaid, so even though on paper there may be benefits, actually finding clinicians to deliver the services is difficult,” Covall said. As a result, many of these acutely ill patients end up in emergency departments. “They may not be regularly seeing a psychiatrist or other type of professional medical person, and their illness starts getting worse and exacerbates, and then they go into crisis and then they have to go to the ED,” he said.” source