CHA Supports Bipartisan Senate Finance Youth Mental Health Care Discussion Draft
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Children’s Hospital Association (CHA) strongly supports the bipartisan youth mental health care discussion draft released by the Senate Finance Committee, led by Sens. Wyden, Ore., Crapo, Idaho, Carper, Del., and Cassidy, La. CHA is encouraged to see robust policies aimed at helping to end the youth mental health crisis with a focus on key policies under Medicaid and CHIP, which provide health care coverage for over half of children in the United States. We support the committee’s focus on children’s needs and look forward to ensuring substantial Medicaid investments for the pediatric behavioral health workforce, which is critical to ensuring transformational change.
Specific policies in this discussion draft advocated by children’s hospitals include:
- Requires oversight and enforcement of Medicaid’s Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT) benefit to ensure children are receiving needed services from early identification through treatment.
- Requires guidance to state Medicaid and CHIP programs to improve the provision of behavioral health services for children and additional publicly available data on mental health services provided under Medicaid.
- Addresses barriers to coordinated care by allowing all providers to receive Medicaid reimbursement for behavioral and physical health services delivered on the same day.
- Streamlines out of state enrollment for out of state Medicaid providers to ensure children receive timely care when needed outside their home state.
- Supports mental health care in schools and family care services for children and youth in foster care by updating guidance and support for states to address challenges.
The nation's children's hospitals commit to continue working with the Senate Finance Committee and all of Congress to ensure the full continuum of care needs are met for children and adolescents. Children’s hospitals are at the frontlines caring for both the physical and emotional needs of our youth, and we are optimistic that comprehensive and long-term legislative changes for children’s mental health are achievable this year.