Is Family Disruption Necessary in ND in Order for Children to Receive Long Term Residential Mental Health Care?

Say that I wanted to analyze the propensity of ND Medicaid to refuse funding beyond 365 days for PRTF/RTC level care. A component of this could include the psychiatrists telling parents that the best way to get the care a child needs is give up custody of their child.  In part because in the psychiatrists experience the only way children receive the care required is through the voluntary disruption of parental custody.

So question: Do children in state custody receive more than 365 days of inpatient mental health care paid for by ND Medicaid?

Now given that this is a vulnerable population,how do I go about obtaining the data that I need?

Follow-up questions could include:

  • How many children in state custody for treatment of mental health issues ultimately end up in prison?
  • Is the cost of care per child lower while the child is in custody of the state than it is if ND Medicaid funds the care while parents maintain custody?
  • Is the rate of out of state placement higher for children in parental custody than it is for children in state custody?
  • What is the rate of Special Needs Adoption family placement that is disrupted through this process?

Hypothesis include

  • Children in state custody are more likely to receive 365 days or more days of PRTF/RTC level care than children in parental custody.
  • Family disruption is the only way that children receive adequate PRTF/RTC level care that their mental health needs require.

If any of the hypothesis were proven, it would show a trend in ND Medicaid that would be alarming. Wouldn’t you think?

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Our experience has shown that facilities are hesitant to accept children where the payee is ND Medicaid. Denials from ND facilities are high when children are in the custody of the parent.

One Response to Is Family Disruption Necessary in ND in Order for Children to Receive Long Term Residential Mental Health Care?

  1. Given some of this is Government Agency stuff, they may be required to FOIA.   It’s dicey because some of it they may cower behind one of the FOIA restrictions — confidentiality and/or tell you that they don’t have the information (in the summary form you would want).
    I used to work for a newspaper.   Perhaps a friendly reporter could assist with the FOIA request — the right reporter would have done dozens of them.