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DHS Plans to Raise Rates for Outpatient Mental Health Treatment

Tuesday, October 24, 2017  
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October 24, Wisconsin Health News

The Department of Health Services plans to raise Medicaid reimbursement rates for outpatient mental health and substance use disorder services next year, according to a Tuesday statement.

According to DHS, $7 million of the $17 million investment to increase rates comes from state funding.

The policy change will increase the maximum allowable fee for each covered outpatient services and simplify the rate structure so there are two fees per service rather than five. The new rates are competitive with Medicaid programs in bordering states as well as with Medicare.

“This is a big win for patients and their families, as it will improve access to treatment, which is key to building a healthy, rewarding life,” DHS Secretary Linda Seemeyer said in a statement.

Joy Tapper, executive director of the Milwaukee Health Care Partnership, called the investment an “important step” to help recruit and retain more providers.

Last month, DHS also said it would no longer require prior approval for some outpatient mental health and substance abuse disorder treatment.