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S. 599 (114th): Improving Access to Emergency Psychiatric Care Act

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Dec 12, 2015.

(This measure has not been amended since it was passed by the House on November 16, 2015. The summary of that version is repeated here.) Improving Access to Emergency Psychiatric Care Act

(Sec. 2) This bill amends the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to revise the length of the emergency psychiatric demonstration project under title XIX (Medicaid) of the Social Security Act that is currently limited to three years.

Participation in the demonstration project shall be extended through FY2016 for any requesting states selected for eligibility to participate on or before March 13, 2012, if the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) determines, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) certify, that a state's participation is projected not to increase net Medicaid program spending.

An additional extension through December 31, 2019, may be granted to a state, and the number of states eligible to participate may be expanded through December 31, 2019, if the same fiscal criteria are met.

HHS shall review annually each participating state's demonstration project expenditures to ensure budget neutrality. If a state's net programming spending has increased as a result of its participation in the project, HHS shall treat the excess expenditures as an overpayment under Medicaid.

This bill also revises certain limitations on federal funding.

HHS must submit recommendations to Congress: (1) first on whether the demonstration project should be continued after September 30, 2016, (2) whether it should be expanded to additional states, (3) subsequently on whether it should be permanently continued after December 31, 2019, in one or more states, and (4) finally on whether the demonstration project should be expanded (including on a nationwide basis).

$100,000 shall be available for the project from unobligated balances of amounts available in the CMS Program Management account.