Quote: Expansion of mental health coverage will “overwhelm if not inundate” the field

Last year, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, almost 91 million adults lived in areas like here where shortages of mental-health professionals made obtaining treatment difficult. A departmental report to Congress earlier this year said 55% of the nation’s 3,100 counties have no practicing psychiatrists, psychologists or social workers, a combination of budget cuts and doctors leaving the profession. […]

Such shortages are expected to only grow now, as the federal health-care law goes into effect and allows more people to seek help. Indeed, according to the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors, some 6.8 million uninsured people with a mental illness will gain coverage after federal and state health insurance exchanges implement the new law. More people will be chasing after scarce resources, an influx that will “overwhelm if not inundate” the field, said Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, president of the American Psychiatric Association.

Gary Fields and Jennifer Dooren, The Wall Street Journal. Related, see this March 2013 post by Keith Humphreys.

@afrakt

Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email

Hidden information below

Subscribe

* indicates required
Email Format