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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/3593

Title: The Impact of the Affordable Care Act on Behavioral Health Services: Who, What, How, Where, and When?
Authors: Chow, Charlene Cynthia
Keywords: Public Health;Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act;Impact;Mental Health Services
Issue Date: 21-Sep-2011
Abstract: Historically, the behavioral health system has been characterized by fragmentation and dissatisfactory access, quality, and cost of care. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) of 2010 addresses many of these issues. Objectives: This Community-Based Masters Project analyzed the impact of the PPACA on mental and behavioral health services, with a focus on 5 questions – who, what, how, where, and when. That is, [1] who will deliver behavioral health services, [2] what will behavioral health entail, [3] how will these services be funded, [4] where will these services be delivered, and [5] when will these provisions take effect, according to the PPACA? Methods: Research design consisted of a general literature review followed by policy analysis of relevant provisions in the PPACA; behavioral health-related terms were identified and located in the PPACA, and results were synthesized from relevant sections. Results: Relevant provisions were found in 25 sections of the PPACA. Compared to the behavioral health system at present, the most significant changes impact the definition of behavioral health. Conversely, the PPACA only moderately alters behavioral health service sites, and providers and funding mechanisms not at all. Recurring themes include greater focus on integration, vulnerable populations, research and prevention, and mental health parity, in general. Limitations are also present, and include a lack of third-party review system for new behavioral health programs, a lack of behavioral health input in integrative health initiatives, and the vague, unspecified, or disparate monetary amounts designated for many behavioral health provisions. Conclusion: These provisions are likely to have a positive impact on behavioral health patients and professionals alike. Of course, such success depends on the PPACA being allowed to proceed as it was enacted. Though Pennsylvania may eventually overturn the PPACA, behavioral health advocates and providers should regardless invest in co-locating care services in integrative settings, health homes and patient-centered models of care, behavioral health worker education and training, high-quality reporting systems, and more complete parity overall.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/3593
Appears in Collections:Health Sciences Theses and Dissertations

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