Trump administration weighs mental health coverage option

The Trump administration says it is “actively exploring” ways to help states expand inpatient mental health treatment using Medicaid funds.

That’s coming amid public outcry over the Florida school shootings.

President Donald Trump brought up the issue of mental hospitals in a meeting with governors on Monday, invoking a time when states maintained facilities for mentally ill people.

Organizations representing state officials and people with mental illness say no one wants to go back to warehousing patients. But they also say that federal action is needed to reverse a decades-old policy known as the “IMD exclusion,” which bars Medicaid from paying for treatment in mental health facilities with more than 16 beds.

A spokesman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services says it’s exploring potential waivers for states.