Issue Brief 15-37
November 25, 2015

Congress passed the Improving Access to Emergency Psychiatric Care Act (S. 599) to extend and potentially expand the Medicaid Emergency Psychiatric Demonstration program.

The program—created and funded by the Affordable Care Act (ACA)—allows participating states to provide Medicaid payments to private institutions for mental disease (IMDs) for treatment of eligible beneficiaries, ages 21 to 64, with psychiatric emergency medical conditions (EMCs). The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) selected 11 states and the District of Columbia to participate in the three-year demonstration. The program was scheduled to run through June 30, 2015, but it ended a few months early due to funding being exhausted.

Update: The president signed this bill on December 11, 2015.