Lawmakers in the House and Senate introduced legislation that would require Medicare to provide equal coverage for mental health needs as for purely physical ailments. The bills would eliminate Medicare's 190-day cap on psychiatric inpatient coverage and reduce the 50% copay required for outpatient psychiatric treatment. Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) and Sen. Jon Corzine (D-N.J.) are the lead sponsors. The Congressional Budget Office has not provided an official estimate of what the proposal would cost. Also today, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) introduced a bill that would extend the 10% Medicare add-on payment for rural home health providers. The payment is scheduled to expire April 1.-- by Jeff Tieman
Bills address mental health, rural home care
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