News Release Listing
Contact: Richard Wentworth, Special Projects Manager, DBHR, ADSA, 360-725-1618,
Contact: Deb Schnellman, Communications, DBHR, ADSA, 360-725-3763,
Contact: Kathy Spears, ADSA Communications Director 360- 902-7893,
March 13, 2012
Washington state selected for project to expand access to emergency psychiatric care
OLYMPIA - Washington state has been selected to participate in a Medicaid Emergency Psychiatric Demonstration project to test whether Medicaid beneficiaries who experience a psychiatric emergency receive more immediate, appropriate care when psychiatric hospitals receive Medicaid reimbursement.
Washington is one of 10 states and the District of Columbia to receive funding for this project. The funding is provided by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), under the Affordable Care Act.
"This new demonstration will expand appropriate, high quality care to consumers in Washington state when they need it most," said Chris Imhoff, Director of the Department of Social and Health Services' Division of Behavior Health and Recovery.
The project will provide an estimated $4.3 million annually in federal Medicaid matching funds, over three years, for emergency psychiatric services provided in three private psychiatric hospitals in Washington. The funding is for patients who are Medicaid eligible, ages 21 to 64, to stabilize an emergency medical condition that could cause individuals to harm themselves or others. The three hospitals are Fairfax Hospital and Navos Mental Health in King County, and Lourdes Counseling Center in Richland.
CMS will evaluate whether this expansion improves access to and quality of medically necessary care, is cost-effective, and reduces the burden on community hospital emergency departments. CMS will then make a recommendation to Congress about continuing and expanding the project.
In addition to the three psychiatric hospitals, DBHR will collaborate with the Washington State Health Care Authority, the Washington State Hospital Association's member hospitals, and the regional support networks who administer state mental health programs.
Historically, federal law has prohibited Medicaid from paying for emergency psychiatric treatment for patients between the ages of 21 and 64. As a result, these patients often seek treatment in general hospital emergency departments, where services may not meet their needs, or in psychiatric hospitals, where care is appropriate but reimbursement is not provided. This has been detrimental to patients, community hospitals, and the state's mental health delivery system.
For more information visit: innovations.cms.gov/initiatives/medicaid-emergency-psychiatric-demo.
# # #
DSHS does not discriminate and provides equal access to its programs and services for all persons without regard to race, color, gender, religion, creed, marital status, national origin, sexual orientation, age, veteran’s status or the presence of any physical, sensory or mental disability.