The Health Care Authority (HCA) has announced that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has approved an amendment to the state’s Section 1115 Medicaid demonstration waiver. This creates a fifth initiative, called mental health IMD (Institutions for Mental Diseases). IMD facilities have more than 16 beds and have more than 50 percent of the residents admitted for psychiatric care. Under the amendment, the state can purchase acute inpatient services for Medicaid clients between the ages of 21 and 65 who receive care at an IMD facility for up to 15 days. This is a significant benefit to inpatient psychiatric care delivery since federal funds are not currently used for these Medicaid clients. This change will increase access to care and provide more coordinated and comprehensive treatment for people who receive psychiatric care. It is effective until Dec. 31, 2021 along with the other initiatives within the waiver. HCA is currently seeking an extension through 2022. More information is available online.