California Budgets Dyadic Care Reimbursement for Medicaid in 2022
What’s Going On
California is about to be the first state to let providers bill for “dyadic care” to treat both children and adults on Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid program.
Historically, children’s therapists and physicians were reluctant to offer counseling or therapy as part of the child-patient’s treatment, since insurance programs typically wouldn’t pay for the adult’s counseling off of the child’s diagnosis.
However, many child providers and experts agree that helping parents through their own mental struggles and challenges is just as important as helping children through theirs.
California’s new 2021-2022 state budget allocates $800 million over 4 years for this new dyadic care.
So, starting in 2022, adult caregivers going to a pediatric primary care physician can get screened for depression, addiction, or otherwise offered whole family therapy. And, brand-new moms will get additional post-partum care, along with their infants.
Analysis done by advocates of dyadic care appear to show Medicaid savings twice-over what was spent for other patients, as the dyadic care model can help cut off bigger problems down the line that require more expensive and longer treatments.
Children were also eight times more likely to get screenings and twice as likely to attend well visits if their parents got services, too.
Why This Matters
For therapists and clinicians in California who accept Medicaid reimbursement, the inclusion of dyadic care on such a large scale for 2022 makes it a fascinating opportunity for you to treat the whole family — not just a single patient.
And, for providers who aren’t in California, this news may prompt you to consider how you can include additional service packages to care for every member of the family.
For example, if you only treat geriatric patients now, why not extend a slightly reduced rate to their caregivers to help head health problems off at the pass? If you only see child athletes right now, then maybe create a formal sports family package, too.