Health Affairs , Vol. 25, No. 3
Peter J. Cunningham, Kelly L. McKenzie, Erin Fries Taylor
This paper describes gaps in services for low-income people with serious mental illnesses as reported by mental health professionals and other observers in twelve U.S. communities. According to respondents, service gaps have grown in recent yearsespecially for uninsured peopleas a result of state budget pressures and Medicaid cost containment policies. Growing service gaps contribute to the high prevalence of serious mental illness among the homeless and incarcerated populations, as well as crowding of emergency departments. Some states and communities are aggressively addressing these gaps, although funding for new programs remains scarce.
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