Posted: August 13th, 2013
TREATMENT SETTINGS AND DELIVERY
Treatment Settings And Delivery
Mental health agencies have a critical role to play in the dispensation of mental health services to mental health patients. In the United States, there is a huge need for mental health facilities and therefore the government plays the leading role in the provision of these services to its citizens. Presently, the government has resorted to preventing cases of mental illness instead of waiting to cure those concerned. There is also a growing insistence on the creation of appropriate mental health policies in a bid to improve conditions and respect for the rights of mentally challenged people.
State Mental Agencies and Psychiatric Units
The government through its different state machinery has contracted out the role of providing mental health services to the public. State owned mental institutions are now providing less services compared to the past since this role has been shared out to different stakeholders. These other stakeholders apart from the government include private entities working on a non-profit basis and other agencies with the permission of government but not with the direct funding of government. The private entities that mostly work on a voluntary basis have come aboard to supplement the efforts of government in mental care provision. Before, there were some conditions that government institutions were not well equipped in handling (Hennesy, Lubotsky and Petrilla 2011). However, with the contributions of private service providers, treatment for such conditions has been brought closer to the people in the community.
Psychiatric units and community mental health centers have also gained from the input of these private entities in the formation of sound mental health policies through advocacy (Hennesy, Lubotsky and Petrilla 2011). They advocate for more funding from the government in maintaining mental health institutions at the community level and in the observance of ethics and standards of procedure in dispensing services to patients. The role of private profit making mental health agencies is similar to the two providers discussed above. These agencies however unlike the government, concentrate on providing trainee programs to individuals who want to become mental health practitioners. The number of psychiatric conditions treated in community mental health institutions over the past few years has increased due to the availability of specialized units that have been created under recent reform legislations.
Financing Mental Health Services and Managed Mental Health Care
There are certain created policies that stipulate the mode of funding for mental health services providers. These policies are meant to help people who are unable to pay for these services and to make sure that they are attended to equally as those who are able to pay for themselves medical bills. Mainstream funding for state mental institutions comes from federal government revenue (Mechanic 2008). Individuals can fund themselves for mental treatment through other mechanisms. One of these mechanisms is Medicaid, a health services payment initiative started by the government to help patients from low-income families.
Another way to acquire funds for mental medical services is through Medicare, an insurance initiative started by the federal government to cater for low-income and disabled people. Managed Care was started in the 1940s as a way of treating illnesses in time when they were first diagnosed and still relatively cheaper to cure. Managed care services are provided by specific bodies. States have embraced managed care and are recruiting managed care professionals to provide services to mental health patients. Previously, state and federal governments permitted mental health service institutions to charge Medicare and Medicaid immediately after the patient had been attended. However, with the introduction of managed care in mental health services provision, mental health institutions will now deal with managed care providers and not the patients.
The quality of provision of mental services in America is getting better as the years go by. Studies reveal that more states are taking the provision of mental health services seriously and that there is a reduction in the number of mental health problems since focus is now on prevention than on cure. However, more needs to be done on reducing the prices of mental health services. Most mental health problems require that the patient be taken for frequent check-ups after being treated. At the same time, most mental health patients are from low-income families and are unable to get financing for these subsequent visits. Therefore, if the price were to be subsidized to easily affordable rates then patients would be able to get treatment with ease (Abromowski 2008). This has to be taken up by policy makers who should further call on the government to reduce treatment rates even more.
In conclusion, despite the developments made so far in the provision of affordable health care for mental patients, more still needs to be done in how management of medical mental institutions is carried out. Administrative structures need to be strengthened to ensure that all community mental institutions are sufficiently funded through state budgets. Private sector mental health services providers also have to be included in management circles to ensure that their support to government funding is appropriately used.
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