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Article   |    
Implications of the Health Security Act for Mental Health Services for Children and Adolescents
Beth A. Stroul; Sheila A. Pires; Judith W. Katz-Leavy; Sybil K. Goldman
Psychiatric Services 1994; doi:
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Human Service Collaborative in Washington, D. C.

Center for Mental Health Services

Georgetown University Child Development Center

Human Service Collaborative, 2262 Hall Place, N. W., Suite 204, Washington, D. C. 20007

1994 by the American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

Lack of adequate insurance coverage is one reason that the percentage of children who currently utilize mental health services is significantly lower than the estimated percentage of childnen with serious mental disorders, Pninciples of a reformed health can systeym with particular relevance for children's mental health services include coverage of a broad array of home and community-based services, provision of organized systems of care of children with serious and persistent mental illness, mechanisms to ensure appropriate utilization of services, and provision of mental health services on the same terms and conditions as other health services. The Clinton Administration's proposed Health Security Act embodied many of these principles. in addition, its call for universal coverage and for elimination of insurance exclusions for preexisting conditions would extend mental health coverage to children who are currently uninsured or underinsured; the plan would also expand the range of services covered to include state-of-the-art approaches such as intensive nonresidential services and other alternatives to hospitalization, implementation of the proposed plan would require developing the service and workforce capacity to provide a full continuum of services, ensuring availability of existing services, integrating existing and new systems of care, guarding against underserving children with serious mental illness, and planning for the role of Medicaid funding in the reformed health care system.

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