STATEHOUSE (Jan. 22, 2020) – A bill authored by State Sen. Jon Ford (R-Terre Haute) that would extend inpatient mental health care services for a child on Medicaid unanimously passed the Senate Tuesday, Jan. 21.
Currently, children with Medicaid are permitted a three-day stay in a psychiatric hospital before they must request extended coverage for additional days. These requests for extended stays are routinely denied, making it hard for hospital staff to accurately assess and help children suffering from a severe mental illness.
Senate Bill 192 would extend this three-day period to five business days, giving hospital staff more time to evaluate and begin treatment plans for these children.
“Mental health is an extremely important issue, especially for children on Medicaid who typically come from low-income families or foster care,” Ford said. “Suicide among children has increased over the last decade, along with other mental health issues. This bill is a small step in the right direction, making sure Hoosier children in need have access to psychiatric care and that medical professionals are given a sufficient amount of time to diagnose them.”
SB 192 will now be considered by the Indiana House of Representatives.
A high-resolution photo of State Sen. Jon Ford is available by clicking here.