INDIANAPOLIS - The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration has been given federal approval of a Medicaid waiver to allow treatment for Hoosiers with serious mental illnesses. The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services approved the waiver which gives Indiana Medicaid the ability to pay for acute inpatient stays in facilities for mental disease for those diagnosed with a serious mental illness.

Medicaid law had prevented funding from being used for serious mental illness treatment at any institution with more than 16 beds. FSSA received CMS permission in 2018 to reimburse for treatment in those facilities for Medicaid members with primary diagnoses of a substance abuse disorder. The new waiver will allow Indiana to cover acute inpatient stays for those with a primary diagnosis of a serious mental illness, and since about 25 percent of people with a serious mental illness also have a substance abuse disorder, the waiver will allow for consistency of treatment. 

“My 2020 Next Level agenda is focused on improving the lives of Hoosiers, and a key part centers around increasing the capacity of mental health services throughout the state,” Gov. Eric J. Holcomb said. “With this waiver in hand, we will begin to accomplish this on day one of the new year.”

The waiver takes effect on January 1, 2020. Vermont and the District of Columbia are the only other states/districts to receive this waiver.