September 26, 2022

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Health & Fitness

New law to address long waits for mental health treatment

New law to address long waits for mental health treatment

Take a closer look at a heartbreaking problem it 5 Investigates has been exposing for months: children in need of mental health help trapped in hospital emergency departments.New legislation signed into law Wednesday is aimed at finally providing relief to these patientsThis is a crisis in mental health care and experts have told 5 Investigates it is only going to get worse when children return to school next month. Now, with this new law, the state must step in to help children in need. “No more sitting for 60 days, you know, 40 days while the adults try and figure out who’s going to pay and where this child should go,” said state Sen. Cindy Friedman (D-Arlington), who was a driving force behind the new law designed to help children stuck in Emergency Departments for days, weeks, even months, waiting for a mental health bed. It’s a problem known as “ED boarding.”The new law will create an online portal to help emergency room workers find available beds and give the state a five-day deadline to come up with a plan to get them out of the ER.”If you have a loved one, if you have a child sitting in an emergency room and they are there for more than five days, which is quite a bit, you now have an ability to get Human Services and the Department of Education together in an emergency situation to move that child out of the emergency department,” Friedman said.There are currently 72 children being boarded in emergency departments in Massachusetts. That number is expected to get much larger as kids go back to school next month. Friedman said this law is long overdue.”I believe it’s really going to make a difference,” the senator said. “And people have power.”Another major piece of this landmark legislation will enforce a law that’s been on the books but ignored. The law requires insurance companies to provide equal coverage for surgery and behavioral health care.

Take a closer look at a heartbreaking problem it 5 Investigates has been exposing for months: children in need of mental health help trapped in hospital emergency departments.

New legislation signed into law Wednesday is aimed at finally providing relief to these patients

This is a crisis in mental health care and experts have told 5 Investigates it is only going to get worse when children return to school next month. Now, with this new law, the state must step in to help children in need.

“No more sitting for 60 days, you know, 40 days while the adults try and figure out who’s going to pay and where this child should go,” said state Sen. Cindy Friedman (D-Arlington), who was a driving force behind the new law designed to help children stuck in Emergency Departments for days, weeks, even months, waiting for a mental health bed. It’s a problem known as “ED boarding.”

New law to address long waits for mental health treatment

WCVB

Sen. Cindy Friedman (D-Arlington)

The new law will create an online portal to help emergency room workers find available beds and give the state a five-day deadline to come up with a plan to get them out of the ER.

“If you have a loved one, if you have a child sitting in an emergency room and they are there for more than five days, which is quite a bit, you now have an ability to get Human Services and the Department of Education together in an emergency situation to move that child out of the emergency department,” Friedman said.

There are currently 72 children being boarded in emergency departments in Massachusetts. That number is expected to get much larger as kids go back to school next month. Friedman said this law is long overdue.

“I believe it’s really going to make a difference,” the senator said. “And people have power.”

Another major piece of this landmark legislation will enforce a law that’s been on the books but ignored. The law requires insurance companies to provide equal coverage for surgery and behavioral health care.

https://www.wcvb.com/article/new-massachusetts-law-expected-to-address-long-waits-for-mental-health-treatment/40873731