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.
THA Behavioral Health Council
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