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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: December 12, 2017 03:00 PM
From: Representative Aaron Bernstine and Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio
To: All House members
Subject: Medical Assistance Deemed Eligibility Program for Behavioral Health Services
In the near future, I will be introducing legislation that increases access for individuals in need of behavioral health services.

Currently, this population generally can and does meet medical assistance eligibility requirements. However, they are often not enrolled in the medical assistance program because they do not know how to enroll, are not supported in terms of access to the care system, and/or are chronically mentally ill. As a result, this group accesses expensive services in emergency rooms of heavily utilized medical-surgical hospitals or crisis centers for short term crisis needs, and many become involved with the criminal justice system or in correctional facilities.

Under my bill, patients in crisis would be “deemed eligible” for behavioral health services, automatically enrolled in a local behavioral health managed care organization (BHMCO), and receive these services immediately while their medical assistance application is being reviewed. This will result in better overall care, cost savings and predictability in terms of medical assistance eligibility and BHMCO enrollment.

Please join us in co-sponsoring this much needed legislation to ensure that our most vulnerable citizens have access to these necessary services to foster care and recovery.

Introduced as HB1997