Views on Changes Needed in Mental Health Benefits

HRD-88-96FS: Published: Sep 27, 1988. Publicly Released: Sep 27, 1988.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO solicited state Medicaid and mental health directors' views regarding changes needed to improve delivery of mental health services to Medicaid recipients.

GAO found that state directors suggested policy and procedural changes that would: (1) extend coverage to recipients aged 22 through 64 years; (2) increase the provision of home- and community-based services, residential treatments, and noninstitutionalized psychosocial services; (3) eliminate or alter the cumbersome Medicaid waiver application process and the cost-effectiveness requirement; (4) provide for more consistent interpretations of laws and regulations and more effective guidance for their application; (5) make eligibility requirements concerning income and assets less stringent and disability certification of the mentally ill easier; (6) modify regulations and requirements for utilization control; (7) better define mental health facilities; (8) increase the amount of federal financial assistance; (9) relax physician requirements for clinic services; (10) provide greater flexibility for mental health services delivery; and (11) improve interagency coordination.

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