AHA today urged Congress to take certain steps to strengthen the behavioral health workforce, reduce regulatory burdens for psychiatric facilities, and revise arbitrary and outdated payment policies that undervalue behavioral health services. In a letter to congressional leaders, AHA encouraged Congress to increase graduate medical education slots for behavioral health in underserved areas, streamline licensure application and processing, and remove certain regulatory barriers to providing remote services. It also encouraged Congress to direct the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to revise certain conditions of participation for psychiatric facilities; clarify EMTALA requirements for inpatient psychiatric facilities with emergency departments; eliminate the Institutions for Mental Disease exclusion for certain residential treatment facilities and the 190-day Medicare lifetime limit for inpatient psychiatric hospital care; and increase reimbursement rates for behavioral health services in rural and underserved areas.

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