Policy Implications of Repealing the IMD Exclusion

Executive Summary

Federal and state policymakers are urging a repeal of a provision of the Medicaid Act that encourages states to invest in community-based health care services. Specifically Medicaid law currently bars federal financial support for inpatient beds at institutions (so-called Institutions for Mental Diseases or “IMDs”) that have a long history of providing inadequate and even draconian care for people seeking treatment for behavioral health services. National Health Law Program Senior Attorney Jennifer Lav explains in this issue brief that lawmakers have other options for bolstering mental health care and substance use disorder care without reverting to funneling money back into institutions, and away from community-based care. Lav lays out “eight concrete steps federal and state governments can take to expand access to treatment through Medicaid that do not necessitate repealing the IMD exclusion.”

Related Content

For almost 50 years, the National Health Law Program has fought to expand access to quality health care to low-income individuals and underserved communities. Today we are pleased to launch a newly designed website for our future work to make health care a reality for all people. Please take time to peruse our new site, and sign up for our email updates to learn about us, watch the work we do, and become engaged.

Continue to site