Iowa DHS explains plan to combat waiting times for mental health patients

Iowa DHS explains plan to combat waiting times for mental health patients


ANNOUNCER: THIS IS IOWA’S NEWS
LEADER — KCCI 8 NEWS AT 6:00. STACEY: IOWA DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN
SERVICES IS RESPONDING TO
CONCERNS RAISED IN OUR
INVESTIGATION INTO A COUPLE’S
47-HOUR WAIT IN AN EMERGENCY
ROOM TO GET THEIR FOSTER CHILD ADMITTED INTO ONE OF THE STATE’S
MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENT
FACILITIES. KCCI INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER ALEX
SCHUMAN TALKED WITH DHS ABOUT
WHAT’S BEING DONE. ALEX: THE STATE REACHED OUT TO
US AFTER THEY SAW OUR STORY AND
WANTED TO MAKE CLEAR WHAT THEY
SAY IS ALREADY IN THE WORKS TO
MAKE SURE STORIES LIKE THESE
BECOME LESS COMMON DHS SAYS NEXT YEAR, THEY PLANNED
TO SPEND MORE THAN $4 MILLION IN
STATE AND FEDERAL MONEY TO
REDUCE THE WAIT LIST FOR KIDS
NEEDING MENTAL HEALTH CARE.>>I KNOW FOR YOUTH, FOR
ADOLESCENTS, SOMETHING’S GOT TO
CHANGE. ALEX: AMANDA STONE-JANSSEN AND
HER HUSBAND JON WAITED 47 HOURS
IN AN E.R. FOR THEIR FOSTER
DAUGHTER TO BE ADMITTED FOR
IN-PATIENT MENTAL HEALTHCARE. IT’S A STORY IOWA DEPARTMENT OF
HUMAN SERVICES SPOKESMAN MATT
HIGHLAND SAYS A LAW SIGNED THIS
SPRING IS DESIGNED TO PREVENT.>>THE IDEA IS TO MEET PEOPLE
WHERE THEY ARE WHEN THEY’RE IN
CRISIS AND PROVIDE THE SERVICES
THEY NEED TO HELP STABILIZ
THEM. ALEX: HIGHLAND SAYS CHANGES FROM
THE NEW LAW ARE ALREADY
UNDERWAY. THE LAW WILL CREATE CRISIS
MOBILE RESPONSE TEAMS, REGIONAL
CRISIS STABILIZATION AND A
24-HOUR HOTLINE ACCESS T
SERVICES. ALL OF THESE, HIGHLAND SAYS, ARE
MEANT TO LESSEN THE NEED FOR
IN-PATIENT BEDS. WHAT IS THE TIMELINE FOR THESE
SERVICES TO START TO APPEAR AND
FOR PEOPLE TO HAVE ACCESS?>>SO WITH THE LEGISLATION THEY
ESTABLISHED, THE CHILDREN’S
STATE BOARD, AND RIGHT NOW,
THEY’RE WORKING THROUGH A LOT OF
THE DETAILS IN TERMS OF
FINALIZING THE RULES FOR THE SERVICES, WHAT THAT TIMELINE
LOOKS LIKE. ALEX: HIGHLAND SAYS DHS EXPECTS
MORE FUNDING TO BE IMPLEMENTED
ONCE THE BOARD IS READY TO START
UP THE SERVICE
HE NOTED BEHAVIORIAL HEALTH CARE
SHOULD BE COVERED FOR ANYONE UNDER 18 YEARS OLD IN IOWA. HE SAYS 97% OF YOUNG IOWANS ARE
COVERED BY EITHER PRIVATE
INSURANCE OR MEDICAID, WHILE THE
REMAINING 3% ARE COVERED BY THE
14 MENTAL HEALTH REGIONS.>>IT’S IMPORTANT TO NOTE WE’VE
BEEN WORKING ON THIS FOR 40
YEARS AND TALKING ABOUT IT, BUT
UNDER THIS GOVERNOR, WE’RE
FINALLY GETTING SOMETHING DONE
AND MAKING TRACTION. ALEX: HIGHLAND WOULD NOT COMMENT
ON IF DHS BELIEVED THE CAPS
CURRENTLY SET FOR HOW MUCH
MENTAL HEALTH REGIONS ARE
ALLOWED TO SPEND SHOULD BE
CHANGE THE 24-HOUR HOTLINE IS UP AND
RUNNING, CALLED “YOUR LIFE
IOWA.”
IF YOU’VE HAVING SUICIDAL
THOUGHTS, YOU CAN CALL OR TEXT
THE NUMBERS ON THE SCREEN. THERE IS ALSO SOMEONE AVAILABLE
TO LIVE CHAT WITH YOU THROUGH
THE WEBS

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