Explore and aggregate currently accessible data sources
CMS’ guidance letter makes it clear that the benefits for IMDs not only will be more expansive, but also will come without taking resources away from community-based resources, such as crisis stabilization services. Nevertheless, the current supply of inpatient services is limited, even for private pay, and will need to be expanded in order for gains to be fully realized.
Emergency services could benefit from having more options
Emergency departments might have less need to house mental health and substance abuse patients in the department while they wait for extended treatment elsewhere or simply discharge those patients without connecting them to further treatment. Fewer limitations on Medicaid patients could also reduce the need for extended boarding throughout emergency and community facilities for mental health and substance abuse patients. Community hospitals also may lack the expertise or facilities for mental health or substance abuse inpatient treatment, and where they do have those resources, they may cost more than at an IMD.
Expansion by traditional and new healthcare firms could grow
Nontraditional healthcare companies could eventually find that as Medicaid dollars flow into states opening up IMDs, the increased coverage makes opening or expanding them more attractive. For private equity firms, which are quickening their pace of investment in healthcare, more ensured reimbursement could make IMDs attractive. Health systems looking to expand operations by acquiring inpatient treatment facilities should carefully evaluate CMS guidelines to determine whether an institution is an IMD, based on licensing, accreditation, patient population and if the facility specializes in providing psychiatric or psychological care and treatment.