Advocacy E-News May 6, 2015
May 6, 2015
MENTAL ILLNESS HAUNTED CLIFTON STABBING SUSPECT
Currently, about one in four Americans has a mental disorder; however, the majority of them do not seek treatment. This is most often due to the ever-oppressing stigma that clouds attitudes about mental illness, discouraging people from looking for help. The only way to break down the stigma against mental illness is to talk about it. We cannot continue to hide or pretend it does not exist because by doing so, we are putting people’s lives at risk every day.
STATE SHIFTS WAY IT PAYS FOR MEDICAID MENTAL-HEALTH, ADDICTION TREATMENTS
New Jersey is changing the way that it pays for Medicaid mental-health and addiction treatment, with the goal of making payments more efficient and consistent. But providers want to make sure that they don’t see large funding cuts or cash-flow problems. Under a five-year comprehensive Medicaid waiver from federal rules, New Jersey planned to hire a single company — known as a managed behavioral health organization — to manage behavioral health services. But these plans have been delayed.
A SHOCKING NUMBER OF AMERICANS WITH A MENTAL ILLNESS END UP IN PRISON INSTEAD OF TREATMENT
In a speech yesterday, Hillary Clinton urged the U.S. to reduce its prison population. It’s a stark fact that the United Stations has less than 5 percent of the world’s population, yet we have almost 25 percent of the world’s total prison population. A heart-breaking truth is that part of this increase is due to a widespread failure to treat mental illness.
In its survey of individual states, the Treatment Advocacy Center found that in 44 of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, the largest prison or jail held more people with serious mental illness than the largest state psychiatric hospital (see map below). The only exceptions were Kansas, New Jersey, North Dakota, South Dakota, Washington and Wyoming.
THE PATIENT HAS A IS MENTAL ILLNESS. WHY ARE WE ONLY TREATING HIS BROKEN HAND?
Nationwide, the patchwork nature of mental healthcare drives up overall healthcare costs primarily through expensive emergency department (ED) visits by people who present with apparent mental health challenges. Take New Jersey, for example. Last year in south New Jersey, 39 percent of all inpatient admissions resulted from a primary or secondary behavioral health diagnosis in the ED. South New Jersey hospitals average 100 ED visits per day by people with a behavioral health concern. Recently, five New Jersey health systems, the state hospital association and a provider coalition announced a year-long effort to evaluate the behavioral health environment and provide much needed solutions.