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BOISE — The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is seeking federal approval to broaden Medicaid’s psychiatric care coverage for adults.

The department on Monday submitted a state plan amendment to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The amendment would allow Medicaid reimbursement for inpatient psychiatric treatment for enrollees with substance use disorders in institutions for mental diseases, or IMDs.

“This would benefit both the Medicaid expansion population as well as the existing Medicaid population,” a press release from IDHW states.

The SUPPORT Act, which passed late last year, established a state coverage option for individuals with substance use disorders, but it excludes IMD coverage for adults who have serious mental illness alone.

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In a separate but parallel initiative, the department is also pursuing a waiver to cover individuals with serious mental illness treatment needs who seek inpatient treatment at a freestanding psychiatric hospital, rather than a full-service hospital with psychiatric care staff. The department plans to open a comment period this month and submit a formal application in November.

Idaho’s voter-approved Medicaid expansion will take effect Jan. 1. Waivers are required when a state wants to deviate from standard Medicaid rules; Idaho lawmakers earlier this year added restrictions to the expansion, each requiring a waiver, the Associated Press reported.

For more information on Idaho Medicaid expansion, visit medicaidexpansion.idaho.gov.

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