Governor Scott Walker Signs Senate Bill 293 Into Law

From: Laurel Patrick

Governor Scott Walker Signs Senate Bill 293 Into Law


Green Bay – Governor Scott Walker signed Senate Bill 293 into law today at the Bellin Psychiatric Center in Green Bay.  Senate Bill 293 works to improve mental health service delivery in Wisconsin by giving health care providers tools to allow for greater coordination of care, greater access to care, and more efficient health care delivery for those suffering from mental illness.

“The legislation we’re signing today improves the delivery of mental health services to Wisconsin patients, with the potential to reduce our state’s costs in the Medicaid program,” Governor Walker said.  “Treating mental and physical health together is of great importance for Wisconsin citizens.  We want to break the stigma associated with mental health issues and assist people in getting the care they need by continuing to invest in resources which support a healthier and more prosperous Wisconsin.”

Senate Bill 293 – establishes the Behavioral Health Care Coordination Pilot program, the Medicaid Psychiatric Consultation Reimbursement Pilot program, as well as a mental health bed tracker program.  The Behavioral Health Care Coordination Pilot program tests alternative, coordinated care delivery and Medicaid payment models designed to reduce costs and improve care for Medicaid recipients who have significant or chronic mental illness.  The Medicaid Psychiatric Consultation Reimbursement Pilot program will test a new payment model to encourage psychiatrists to provide consultation to primary care providers treating a small population of Medicaid adults with mild to moderate mental health needs.  Senate Bill 293 also establishes an online bed tracking system, which shows the number of available child, adolescent, adult, and geriatric inpatient psychiatric beds throughout the state.  The system will be available to any hospital emergency department in Wisconsin.  Authored by Senator Leah Vukmir (R – Brookfield), Senator Janet Bewley (D – Mason), Representative Mary Czaja (R – Irma), and Representative Debra Kolste (D – Janesville), the bill passed the Senate with a vote of 30-0 and was concurred by the Assembly with a vote of 98-0.  It is Act 153.