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The Struggle to Provide Community-Based Care to Low-Income People with Serious Mental Illnesses

May/June 2006
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 years—especially for uninsured people—as 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.

This article is available at the Health Affairs Web site by clicking here. (Free access.)


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The Center for Studying Health System Change Ceased operation on Dec. 31, 2013.