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NAPH Statement on Excellence in Mental Health Act Amendment

April 17, 2013

Statement attributable to:
Bruce Siegel, MD, MPH
President and Chief Executive Officer
National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems

WASHINGTON – “NAPH appreciates that Sen. Stabenow’s Mental Health Act Amendment would direct much-needed funding toward services that benefit the mentally ill and entire communities. Expanded access to community-based care for behavioral and mental health issues can improve public health and safety, lessen the impact of chronic diseases and relieve emergency department crowding.”

“NAPH is pleased to see the amendment would eliminate damaging cuts in fiscal year 2014 to disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payments. This funding is essential to mental health patients, who often lack insurance and depend on the hospital services DSH funding supports; and to our hospitals, which often serve as the largest or only providers of mental health services in their communities. This 1-year reprieve also would give policymakers time to better assess coverage expansion and set appropriate levels of federal support for uncompensated care.”

“We remain very concerned, however, about significant DSH reductions in 2023 related to this amendment. Congress must revisit the DSH funding question and repeal or reduce existing cuts until the true impact of coverage expansion is known.”

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About the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems (NAPH)
NAPH represents the nation’s safety net hospitals and health systems, which provide high volumes of care to low-income individuals. These facilities offer high-quality health services for all patients, including the uninsured .and underinsured, regardless of ability to pay. In addition to helping ensure access to health care for all Americans, safety net hospitals provide many essential communitywide services, such as primary care, trauma care, and neonatal intensive care. Safety net hospitals also train many of America’s doctors, nurses, and other health care providers. Since its inception in 1980, NAPH has cultivated a strong presence on Capitol Hill, with the executive branch, and in many state capitols. NAPH advocates on behalf of its members on such issues as Medicaid, Medicare, and access to health care services for vulnerable populations. For more information, visit our website at

Media Contact:
Carl Graziano


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