How Colorado is trying to address transportation needs for people in mental health crisis

  • Author: Forest Wilson
  • Source: Colorado Independent
  • Date: 03/05/2020

"The new system is primarily intended to help transport people placed on 72-hour involuntary holds because they are considered to be a danger to themselves or others. It could also be used to transport people between levels of behavioral health care. County commissioners would license private companies for transport, and Medicaid would cover the cost.

According to the most recent available data, between 2012 and 2016, the number of people placed on crisis holds in Colorado rose by more than 39% — or from about 28,000 to more than 39,000. Those numbers include people who were placed on holds more than once. A state analysis found that about 6% of Medicaid recipients using emergency medical services or a mental health treatment facility will need the new transportation service. That equates to about 972 Medicaid-covered trips per year at a total cost of $215,784. "

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