New fed rule could affect mental health treatment in ND

Nov 13, 2017

ND Human Services Director Chris Jones.
Credit DHS

The director of the North Dakota Department of Human Services said the Center for Medicare and Medicaid has issued a new rule which could affect mental health treatment in North Dakota.

Chris Jones said it concerns "IMDs" -- Institute for Mental Disease.  Jones said under current rules, Medicaid would only reimburse institutions that are considered psychiatric hospitals withy 16 beds or less.

"Now, due to the opioid epidemic,  they're saying, 'We'll waive that exclusion,'" Jones said. "But there are so many more things that go along with it that haven't been laid out yet."

Jones said DHS is awaiting clarification.

"We really only have two institutes for mental disease in the state," Jones said. "That's the State Hospital (in Jamestown) and Prairie St. John's (in Fargo)."

Jones said the MHA Nation is building an in-patient addiction rehab center, north of Bismarck.

"They can only build 16 beds, because of the IMD exclusion," Jones said.

Jones said he's hoping soon to have clarification and direction from the federal agencies.