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Huizenga Introduces Pine Rest Supported Legislation to Improve Access to Mental Health Care, Expand Opioid Addiction Treatment, and Address Cost Challenges with At-Risk Care

Today, Congressman Bill Huizenga (MI-02) introduced H.R. 6343, the INPATIENT (Increasing National Patient Access to Improved Effective Necessary Mental Health Treatment) Act of 2018. This legislation, crafted in consultation with Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services, modernizes treatment available for Medicare and Medicaid patients to help individuals with urgent mental health care needs, those struggling with opioid and substance addiction, and high-risk individuals that are often the most difficult to reach.

“Currently, outdated Medicare and Medicaid regulations are restricting access to mental health care for individuals who need it the most. We must address the ongoing opioid epidemic and limited access to quality and affordable mental health services in West Michigan and across the nation,” said Congressman Huizenga. “H.R. 6343 is designed to address treatment, access, cost and workforce challenges associated with high-need, high-cost patients with behavioral health and substance abuse challenges.”

“H.R. 6343 will enable organizations like Pine Rest to provide the highest quality care to persons who suffer from some of the most severe forms of mental illness, at lower cost,” said Pine Rest CEO Dr. Mark Eastburg. “In addition, this legislation will enable us to share what we’ve learned across our nationwide network to inform policymakers and legislation.”


- Establishes a demonstration program for qualified mental health providers to optimize federal resources for hard-to-reach and costly patient populations

- Improves access to quality care for those suffering from mental health and substance abuse issues

- Reduces duplication of Medicare and Medicaid costs 

- Increases the mental health workforce that help underserved populations

- Informs data needs and national public policy discussion centered on high-risk, high-expense mental health patient population 

- Generates best practices to serve this population effectively, efficiently, and at a lower cost.
The legislative text of H.R. 6343 can be found here.
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