50 Wishes for
Medicare’s Future

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Wish #35:
Eliminate the 190-day lifetime cap on inpatient psychiatric hospital stays

The Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 achieved partial mental health parity in Medicare, but unequal treatment remains. For instance, Medicare caps coverage for care at inpatient psychiatric hospitals at 190 days over a beneficiary’s lifetime. This same cap does not apply for inpatient psychiatric care received at non-specialized facilities, or for non-psychiatric care. Congress should do away with this arbitrary, outdated cap on access to inpatient care at psychiatric hospitals.