A revised, less expensive version of General Assistance Medical Care will continue past its scheduled March 31 expiration date, under a new law signed by Gov. Tim Pawlenty March 26.
Under the law, the estimated 35,000 low-income Minnesotans covered by GAMC each month will continue to receive basic medical services. These services will be administered by “coordinated care delivery systems” — partnerships of hospitals that may contract with the Department of Human Services for reimbursement. This provision is effective June 1, 2010, for hospitals serving the largest number of GAMC patients. Hospitals with fewer GAMC patients may receive reimbursement through November as they decide whether to form similar delivery systems.
The law also implements reforms in the delivery of mental health urgent care, which may be phased in based on the limits of appropriations and the level of need, as determined by the Department of Human Services. Other provisions include the establishment of a collaborative psychiatric consultation service, as well as a state review of procedures for administering antipsychotic and attention deficit disorder medications to children.
Sponsored by Rep. Erin Murphy (DFL-St. Paul) and Sen. Linda Berglin (DFL-Mpls), the law is a result of months of bipartisan work by legislators and discussions with the governor on how best to care for the GAMC population.
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