Children Denied Mental Health Treatment: A Conversation

Feb 14, 2020

Children who are on Medicaid in Indiana and need inpatient mental health services are typically allowed three days in a facility. Health care workers need to request permission to keep them longer. But many say that three days isn't enough, and that those requests are often rejected by insurers.


A bill being discussed at the Statehouse would turn that three-day window into five business days. Indiana Public Broadcasting's All IN talked about the bill with Side Effects reporter Carter Barrett, a child psychiatrist and the lawmaker behind it.

  READ MORE: Why Some Kids May Not Get Enough Mental Health Care

"My bottom line is: I think the decisions about how long a child needs to be hospitalized need to be left to the people that actually treat them," says Dr. Darla Hinshaw, a child psychiatrist. 

They discussed why some see the change as crucial, and why others are worried about its consequences.