August 4, 2022 – Children’s Hospital Association (CHA), representing 220 children’s hospitals across the country, thanks Senators Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Bob Casey, D-Pa., for introducing S.4747, Investing in Kids’ Mental Health Now Act of 2022. This bipartisan legislation is a significant step toward transformational change in pediatric mental health services that are needed to address the national youth mental health crisis and support behavioral health professionals.
The Investing in Kids’ Mental Health Now Act would incentivize increased state payment rates for pediatric mental health services covered by Medicaid. Leveraging federal dollars and directing HHS to issue guidance would allow for greater flexibility in pediatric mental, emotional and behavioral health programs to best meet children’s needs. Millions of children and adolescents with mental health conditions rely on the Medicaid insurance program to access mental health services.
CHA is encouraged by bipartisan efforts in the Senate and the House to address the national emergency in children’s mental health and ensure that children in crisis receive timely access to mental health care. Children’s hospitals remain committed to working with Congress to advance comprehensive legislation that will provide broader availability of pediatric behavioral health services nationwide to improve children’s mental health and well-being.