CHA News Article

DHCS Releases Guidance on County Responsibility to Pay for Acute Psychiatric Inpatient Hospital Services

At CHA’s request, the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) has released the attached Information Notice 18-008 to clarify that, under the Bronzan McCorquodale Act, counties must pay for acute psychiatric inpatient hospital services for their eligible residents, including Medi-Cal members between the ages of 21 and 65 – even though federal financial participation is not available for those beneficiaries.

In the notice, DHCS states, “In accordance with 1991 Realignment, the Department expects every county to pay for acute psychiatric inpatient hospital services provided in an IMD to their eligible residents, including Medi-Cal beneficiaries between the ages of 21 and 65, unless a county can demonstrate to the Department’s satisfaction that it does not have adequate funding. Furthermore, under the Medi-Cal program, county mental health plans are required to cover those services when provided in an IMD to beneficiaries under the age of 21, or 65 years or older.” Importantly, the Department notes that “The availability of federal financial participation is not a factor involved in determining the county’s responsibility to provide these services.”

CHA appreciates the members of its Center for Behavioral Health, who have prioritized this issue on behalf of the patients they serve and elevated it to CHA.

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