Coloradans with Medicaid and serious mental illness could soon receive better care at certain facilities

March 18, 2024

By: Tatiana Flowers

The IMD policy was passed during the deinstitutionalization movement and the goal was to get people out of asylums and back into their communities while also increasing availability of publicly funded, community-based mental health services.

“The thought was, states would be less likely to institutionalize people with serious mental health conditions, if the federal government wouldn’t pay for long lengths of stay and would instead pay for services in the community, which was wonderful,” said Lauren Snyder, vice president of government affairs for Mental Health Colorado, which is part of a coalition asking the state to reimburse providers for the longer stays.

“However, what has happened is, people who need longer lengths of stay can’t get inpatient services because our state mental health hospitals are full or have long waiting lists,” she said. “People are still being institutionalized, in jail, when they really need a longer stabilization stay at a psychiatric facility.”

Read the full article in The Colorado Sun