Mental Health:

Funds Needed for Future Planning Activities

HRD-89-94: Published: Apr 28, 1989. Publicly Released: Apr 28, 1989.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO assessed whether 14 states would need additional federal funds to establish and implement statutorily required comprehensive community-based mental health services.

GAO found that: (1) the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) provided each state with $82,200 in fiscal year (FY) 1988 and $81,000 in FY 1989 to develop programs; (2) 13 of the 14 states used FY 1988 funds to support personnel positions associated with plan development; (3) 10 states used funds to support travel expenses associated with planning council activities, public hearings, and data-gathering activities; (4) five states supplemented federal funds with their own funds, while other states provided such in-kind contributions as office space; (5) HHS developed manuals to help states collect and use data and obtain financing for mental health services and developed a model plan for a community-based care system; (6) all 14 states believed that they did not need additional funding to complete their plans and expected to submit final plans by the September 1989 due date; (7) states needed additional funding to revise plans if HHS did not approve them, monitor plan implementation, collect data, evaluate progress, and update plans; and (8) HHS needed additional funds to continue to provide technical assistance to states.

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