KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Some States Reconsider Funding For Mental Health Care

In the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School killings in Connecticut, state lawmakers and governors talk about boosting mental health care.

The Miami Herald: Florida Legislature Now Rethinking Mental Health Spending
In light of the tragic shootings in Connecticut and Colorado, Florida legislators are taking a hard look at the state’s mental health system, which ranks 49th among states and the District of Columbia when it comes to funding. ... Legislators need to look at the continuum of care “from prevention to identification to intervention to treatment,” [Rep. Gayle] Harrell said, if any improvements can occur in a system where issues range from school safety to finding places for mentally impaired nursing home patients (Koff, 1/24).

Kansas Health Institute: Mental Health Advocates Urge Evidence-Based Approach To Curbing Violence
Advocates for mentally ill Kansans said today that policies aimed at preventing mass shootings and other acts of violence should be based on evidence not inaccurate generalizations and stereotypes. ... Often what goes wrong, [Rick] Cagan said, is that people with serious mental illnesses fall through the cracks of an inadequate mental health system. He said one-third of people who need help don’t get it in time to avert a crisis (McLean, 1/24).

MPR News: [Minn. Gov.] Dayton: Counties Should Pay More For Mental Health Treatment At 2 Facilities
The governor's budget proposal, released Tuesday, calls for counties to pay a greater share of the cost for patients at the troubled Minnesota Security Hospital and the Anoka Metro Regional Treatment Center. ... By requiring counties to pay more, counties will have a financial incentive to work more quickly to move patients back into the community, said Anne Barry, deputy commissioner of the state Department of Human Services. The state would use the extra money to pay for mental health services for former patients who need assistance with housing, in-home medical care and other issues, Barry said (Baran, 1/25).

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