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University of South Florida · College of Behavioral & Community Sciences · Mental Health Law & Policy


Key Personnel:
Mary I. Armstrong, Ph.D.
Karen A. Blase, Ph.D.
Kathleen A. Dailey, M.Ed.
Mark R. Larkins, M.S.
Ren Chen, M.S.
Frank C. Reyes, A.A.

Statewide inpatient psychiatric program: Report 4

Publication Date: 6/1/2003

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After the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) applied for and was granted a 1915(b) waiver from the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) in March of 1998, the State of Florida implemented a pilot Sub-Acute Inpatient Psychiatric Program (SIPP) during the spring of 1999. During this original implementation, SIPP offered an alternative, sub-acute treatment program for clinically eligible children under the age of 18 who were high utilizers of inpatient psychiatric services. These services were offered in two regions of the state.

During 2002, a revised Statewide Inpatient Psychiatric Program (SIPP) was implemented statewide. In the course of the 2001 legislative session, the Florida Legislature authorized expenditures for AHCA to implement Medicaid coverage for services for children in IMD's (institutions for mental diseases). In June 2001, AHCA received approval from the federal Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) for a 1915(b) waiver to purchase SIPP services for children, through a competitive procurement process.

In September 2001 AHCA released a Request for Proposals for Statewide Inpatient Psychiatric Program (SIPP) Services for individuals under the age of 18. The purpose of the revised SIPP program was to provide specialized psychiatric diagnostic, treatment, and aftercare services to high-risk Medicaid recipients under the age of 18. Program goals included:

  • Stabilization of presenting symptoms
  • Reduction of re-admissions into acute or SIPP services
  • Reduction in the length of stay for psychiatric inpatient services in acute care general hospitals
  • Design of an effective aftercare plan.

Beginning in January 2002, AHCA awarded contracts to 15 providers to offer SIPP services statewide. Since the federal waiver approvals required that the state arrange for an independent evaluation of SIPP, the Agency for Health Care Administration requested that the Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute conduct the SIPP evaluation.