One in five Texans experience a mental health condition each year. Half a million Texas children have a serious emotional disturbance. More than two-thirds of people with a behavioral health condition get no treatment for that condition.
Workforce shortages, limited funding and insurance/treatment barriers create obstacles to accessing appropriate behavioral health care. The result is that adults and children in Texas with behavioral health needs increasingly rely on clinically inappropriate settings, such as hospital emergency departments, to receive needed behavioral health treatment. To improve the behavioral health care system and improve access to care, the Texas Hospital Association supports:
- A federal waiver from the Institutions for Mental Diseases (IMD) exclusion rule, which currently caps Medicaid inpatient behavioral health stays at 15 days for Texans aged 21-64.
- Increasing behavioral health hospital capacity by increasing contract beds and rates for state-contracted beds, both adult and pediatric.
- Mandating Medicaid coverage for intensive outpatient therapy and partial hospitalization
- Increasing funding to the Loan Repayment Program for Mental Health Professionals.
- Streamline the detention warrant acquisition process through electronic warrant applications.
- Create a grant program for behavioral health providers who lack access to electronic medical records and interoperability technology.
Additional information on THA’s behavioral health policy priorities is available here.
- Process to Protect People in Crisis (3/22/23) | THA
- Electronic Applications Streamline Detentions (3/21/23) | THA
- Streamline Orders of Protective Custody for Patients in Crisis (1/30/23) | THA
- Improve Access to Mental Health Treatment With an IMD Exclusion Waiver (1/11/23) | THA
- SHOUT Texas Toolkit for Opioid Use Disorders (3/7/22)
Mental Health Parity
- Comments on TDI Proposed Parity Rule (4/5/21) | THA
- Comments on Draft Rule Enforcing Mental Health Parity Law (7/10/20) | THA
- Behavioral Health Parity Explainer and Contact Sheet (English & Spanish) (3/26/20) | HHSC
- RFI on Best Practices for Mental Health Parity Compliance (2/15/20) | TDI
- FAQs on Medicaid/CHIP Mental Health Parity Rule (10/11/17) | CMS
- Comments on HB 10 Mental Health Parity Study (11/17/17) | THA
- House Bill 10 – Statewide Mental Health Parity Law (9/15/17)
- THA Takeaways: Mental Health Parity (3/30/17)
- Whitepaper: Texas Hospitals Support Mental Health Parity (3/15/17) | THA
- THA Behavioral Health Council Member Testifies in Support of Mental Health Parity Bill (2/28/17)
THA Behavioral Health Council
Charge: To discuss and make policy recommendations to the Council on Policy Development regarding behavioral health care issues affecting hospital members that provide behavioral health services (meets as needed).
Chair: Jacob Cuellar, MD, Laurel Ridge Treatment Center
Sherry L Cusumano, RN, Medical City Green Oaks, Dallas
Kathy Griffis, Titus Regional Medical Center, Mount Pleasant
Brandy Hart, HCA Healthcare, Nashville, TN
Melissa Lehman, RN, CHRISTUS Health, Irving
Charlzetta (Charlie) McMurray-Horton, Ben Taub General Hospital – Harris Health System, Houston
Stephen M (Steve) Glazier, FACHE, UT Harris County Psychiatric Center, Houston
Laci Laird, Oceans Behavioral Hospital Lufkin
Edgar E Prettyman, Psy.D, Texas NeuroRehab Center, Austin
Becky Tresnicky, Valley Baptist Medical Center – Brownsville
Zelia Baugh, JPS Health Network, Fort Worth
Christine (Chris) Bryan, Clarity Child Guidance Center, San Antonio
Heather Chung, PhD, Houston Methodist Hospital
Sally E Taylor, MD, University Health, San Antonio
Staff Representative: Sara González, Texas Hospital Association, Austin
Behavioral Health: Top of Mind and Time For Change
With no shortage of polarizing issues circulating in Texas right now, one thing is clear no matter your politics: Mental health is top of mind.
2021 Award Winner, Non-Research/Non-Teaching Hospital/Health System
Oceans Behavioral Health Hospital, Abilene
Project: Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9)
Rewriting the Behavioral Health Narrative
How Texas hospitals are taking on unprecedented demand for behavioral health care and helping suffering Texans find stability, treatment and hope.