HARRISBURG – Reducing delays in care for patients with behavioral health needs is the goal of legislation authored by Rep. Jim Struzzi (R-Indiana) that passed the House unanimously on Wednesday. House Bill 1644 now moves to the Senate for consideration. House Bill 1644, the Medicaid Care Transition Program Act, would create a Medicaid Care Transition Program to ensure hospitals, individual counties, the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS), and managed care organizations will communicate and coordinate care. They would also be required to create uniform policies and procedures to assist in transitioning these individuals out of the emergency room and into appropriate care settings where they will get the help they need. Additionally, the legislation would require DHS to develop a standardized, timely process for placement of patients statewide who are enrolled in Medicaid and diagnosed with behavioral health or other long-term care needs. House Bill 1644 would implement accountability measures for Behavioral Health Medicaid Managed Care Organizations (BH-MCOs) by holding them responsible for the adequate level of and accessibility to health care they are being paid to provide for Medicaid patients.