Thursday, October 27, 2016
White House Parity Task Force Report Leaves Out Seriously Mentally Ill
Federal Parity Task Force Report Fails to End Federal Discrimination Against the Seriously Mentally Ill that is part of Medicaid.
The Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Task Force report issued by the White House today shamefully fails to end the federal government's own massive discrimination against people with serious mental illness that is embedded in Medicaid. The Medicaid Institutes for Mental Disease (IMD) provision prevents states from receiving federal reimbursement for seriously mentally ill individuals between 18 and 64 who need long-term psychiatric hospital care. This limitation applies only applies to the mentally ill and parity can not be achieved without eliminating it. If you have a disease in any organ and are Medicaid-eligible, Medicaid pays with a single exception: individuals who have a mental illness in their brain.
The IMD Exclusion causes states to lock the front door of psychiatric hospitals and kick the mentally ill out the back. The failure to eliminate the IMD Exclusion will cause more individuals with disorders like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder to be offloaded to jails, shelters, prisons and morgues. The Task Force should have called for ending this injustice.
We do appreciate the recommendation of the Task Force to end the 190-day limit on inpatient care for the seriously ill that is part of Medicare Part A and urge the President to act on it immediately.
Background Info: Op-ed by DJ Jaffe in Washington Post