Legislation aimed at strengthening the mental health safety net passed the Senate Monday evening as part of the so-called SGR (sustainable growth rate for Medicare physician payment) “doc fix” bill that also includes a one-year delay for the ICD-10 deadline and temporarily delays cuts to physician reimbursements under Medicare.
With congressional approval, the bill now continues to the White House where the President is expected to sign it.
The legislative component focused on mental health, known as the Excellence in Mental Health Act, would create a two year demonstration project in eight states. The project aims to set new care delivery standards for provider organizations, such as integrating physical checkups with mental health services, and expanding access to mental health and substance abuse services, including 24-hour psychiatric services.
Read more at the The Hill.