Governor signs Caldier bill to make insurers pass along raises for mental health providers

No longer will insurance companies get to pocket Medicaid reimbursement rate increases meant for behavioral health care providers. On Thursday, Gov. Jay Inslee signed House Bill 2584, sponsored by Rep. Michelle Caldier, that will make sure providers get the rate increases intended for them.

“This was really frustrating to me. A couple of years ago, the Legislature approved rate increases for mental health providers and specific behavioral health providers who are seeing Medicaid patients. The managed care insurance companies were supposed to pass through those rate increases to the providers. Instead, they pocketed the money,” said Caldier, R-Port Orchard. “That's just wrong — and it jeopardizes the ability for Medicaid patients to get the help they need.”

The bill was a priority of the Children's Mental Health Workgroup, of which Caldier is a member. The group has been working on policy issues that increase access to timely behavioral health care for children, youth and families.

“I took on the insurance companies — and fought to make sure these increases get to the providers so Medicaid families can continue receiving these vital services,” said Caldier, who serves on the House Health Care and Wellness Committee.

The measure has reporting and accountability requirements so that managed care insurance organizations actually pass the rate increases on to providers. The bill takes effect June 10.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov