Obstacles and advocacy in children's mental health services: managing the Medicaid maze.

Abstract

Of federal programs available, Medicaid offers the greatest potential for serving children's mental health needs. Obstacles to children receiving services through Medicaid are largely determined by a state's policy of regulating services. State policies affect the delivery of mental health services for children in two ways: first, by determining which services to make available, and second, by specifying the conditions of access to those services. Accordingly, this article focuses on obstacles within states' policies that prevent effective utilization of services by children. Specifically, states' choices of eligibility criteria, services, and the procedural obstacles present within payment options are examined. Suggestions for future research are made.

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