Seeking parity for Medicare.
Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) has introduced a bill that would eliminate the 190-day cap on inpatient psychiatric days for Medicare patients. The Medicare Mental Health Inpatient Equity Act (S. 3028) would make coverage for Medicare enrollees on par with that received by people who have private health insurance. There is no lifetime limit on any other Medicare inpatient specialty care. "This arcane and outdated policy runs counter to every battle we've fought to equalize mental health care in this country," said Sen. Kerry in a statement. The bill is cosponsored by Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and supported by 48 national organizations, including the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry and the American Psychiatric Association.