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J Behav Health Serv Res. 2014 Oct;41(4):429-33. doi: 10.1007/s11414-014-9394-y.

Do not turn out the lights on the public mental health system when the ACA is fully implemented.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Maryland School of Medicine, 1501 S. Edgewood St., Suite L, Baltimore, MD, 21227, USA,


When all of the insurance and health care reforms of the ACA are fully implemented, some public financing needs for behavioral health services will remain. This commentary outlines a number of the residual functions of the public mental health system in an ACA world, and it identifies opportunities for expansions of service areas not covered by traditional insurance or the health delivery reforms for behavioral health services within the scope of the ACA.

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