Rep. Stanley lobbies for health care coverage for the emergency psychiatric services

At a Financial Services hearing, Rep. Stanley urged passage of legislation filed by Rep. Balser, Sen. Friedman and himself that would require commercial insurers to cover behavioral health emergency services provided by Emergency Service Providers (ESP). House Bill H.909 requires health care coverage for the emergency psychiatric services. By requiring all commercial insurers doing business in Massachusetts to provide and pay for Emergency Service Providers (ESP) services, every person residing in Massachusetts who is having a psychiatric crisis will be able to get the care they need.

Community-based, recovery-orientated ESP services include behavioral health crisis assessment, intervention, and stabilization services for people with psychiatric illness. ESP teams have trained psychiatric clinicians who travel to where a psychiatric crisis is occurring, including home, school and community settings. ESP teams also feature certified peer specialists in addition to “Family Partners”, parents of children who have utilized ESP services.

MassHealth covers ESP s but many people with private health insurance do not have access these vital services. H.909 would simply require commercial insurance companies to pay for behavioral health emergency services provided by ESPs around the state. Due to the mobility of ESP services and their ability to serve patients in their home, patients are able to avoid the long waits in hospital emergency rooms, saving them thousands of dollars in avoided ER trips and prolonged hospitalizations.