Medicaid Coverage of Inpatient Psychiatric Treatment for Individuals Under 21

Executive Summary

In this fact sheet, National Health Law Program attorneys Héctor Hernández-Delgado and Kim Lewis explain how state Medicaid agencies can ensure quality mental health care is accessible to low-income individuals 21 and younger. The authors also recommend state Medicaid agencies provide home-and-community based care for youth with long-term psychiatric care needs. “Long term placement in facilities or congregate settings has limited therapeutic value at best and is harmful at worst. Significant evidence shows that all youth, even those with significant mental health needs, have better outcomes in home and community-based settings,” the authors write.

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