Local News

Medicaid To Expand Mental Health Coverage In N.C.

Posted January 4, 2006

— North Carolina's mental health funding got a big boost Wednesday, and it'll help people on Medicaid.

North Carolina has received federal approval to expand its public mental health services. By early spring, North Carolina Medicaid will cover a full-range of treatment options.

"This is a critical milestone in our efforts to transform the public mental health system," said Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services Director Mike Moseley. "We have said all along that successful mental health reform is dependent on having the ability to provide for a range of community services. With this approval, we now have that ability."

A key improvement to services includes providing a full range of substance abuse services. Currently, Medicaid covers only a limited number of outpatient and inpatient treatments. The change will allow Medicaid to cover detox services as well as a number of residential services of varying intensity.

There will also be coverage available for crisis treatment, assertive community treatment teams, and family-based treatment. The new service definitions will be in place by the end of March.

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