Indiana Approved For Medicaid Mental Health Waiver

Dec 26, 2019

The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) announced the federal approval of a Medicaid waiver that will pay for inpatient stays for Hoosiers diagnosed with serious mental illness.

Medicaid law had prevented the use of funds for inpatient mental health treatment at facilities with more than 16 beds. The new waiver will help patients receive more appropriate and longer inpatient stays which will aid in the stabilization and transition of patients back into the community. It is also expected to drive down costs associated with overuse of emergency departments for mental health problems.

According to a press release from FSSA, approximately 25 percent of individuals with a serious mental illness also have as substance use disorder. The waiver will create consistency in treatment.

“This waiver allows Indiana to, for the first time, offer the full continuum of treatment for Hoosiers with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders,” said FSSA Secretary Jennifer Sullivan. “This begins a new era of vastly enhanced access and hope in many communities, aided by allowing some facilities already engaged in this vital work to expand.”

Vermont and the District of Columbia are the only other states or districts to receive a waiver. The waiver takes effect Jan. 1.

Contact Darian at dbenson@wfyi.org or follow her on Twitter at @helloimdarian.