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News and Notes   |    
News Briefs
Psychiatric Services 2008; doi:
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State survey of Medicaid agencies' approaches to mental health services: A report released by the Center for Mental Health Services of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) examines how Medicaid agencies in 50 states and the District of Columbia address organization, funding, policy, management, and data issues that arise from their increased responsibility for mental health services. Respondents in slightly more than half the states said that Medicaid and mental health agencies collaborate frequently through internal and external meetings, public reports, or presentations to the legislature. Nine other states responded that collaboration occurs "somewhat regularly." Findings indicate that in some states the Medicaid agency retain full administrative responsibility for all mental health services if they are funded with Medicaid dollars and provided to Medicaid enrollees. Other states have chosen to share responsibilities in different ways with mental health agencies or other agencies in the state. State Medicaid and mental health agencies are within the same umbrella agency in 28 states and are separate in 23 states. Data were collected in hour-long telephone interviews with state Medicaid directors or their designees. The 75-page report represents the first time that such information has been systematically collected and analyzed. The report, Administration of Mental Health Services by Medicaid Agencies, is available on the SAMHSA Web site at mentalhealth.samhsa.gov/publications/allpubs/sma07-4301.

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