Nevada Ranks Toward Bottom in Mental Health Spending - 8 News NOW

Nevada Ranks Toward Bottom in Mental Health Spending

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LAS VEGAS -- There aren't many states that have it worse than Nevada when it comes to funding for mental health services.

Data from fiscal 2010, the latest available for a comparison of the 50 states and Washington, D.C., shows that Nevada ranked 41st by spending $68.32 per resident -- $184 million overall -- on mental health services. That was barely more than half of the $125 spent per U.S. resident, according to the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors Research Institute in Falls Church, Va.

The rankings aren't out yet for fiscal 2011 or 2012, but evidence points to Nevada remaining low on the list. That's because the state's mental health services were slashed 12.5 percent over the past biennium in response to the economic downturn.

A closer look at the 50-state comparison shows that Nevada gets a far greater share of its mental health funding from its own general fund -- 69 percent in fiscal 2010 -- than is true of most other states, with the U.S. average at 42 percent. Conversely, most other states take greater advantage of federal matching dollars through Medicaid to help fund mental health services. States on average collected 48 percent of their mental health revenue through Medicaid in fiscal 2010, whereas Medicaid made up only 18 percent of the pie in Nevada.

Nevada that year spent $33.8 million through Medicaid for mental health services, with $20.3 million representing federal matching dollars. But the mental health spending represented only 2.2 percent of Nevada's total Medicaid spending. Nationally, mental health programs consumed 4.9 percent of Medicaid spending.

Nevada ranked 37th in fiscal 2010 in the amount of spending per resident on psychiatric care for offenders who have been sent by courts to state psychiatric facilities. But Nevada also ranked 17th in the cost of care it provided, a figure that climbed from $356.43 per patient day in fiscal 2010 to $578.20 per patient day in fiscal 2010.

The high cost of patient care isn't confined to offenders, though. Nevada in fiscal 2010 ranked 13th in psychiatric costs for all civilly-admitted adults and 17th overall with child patients included.

Spending on prevention, research, training and administration are aspects of mental health care where Nevada outspends most other states. Nevada spent a combined $3.90 per resident in those areas in fiscal 2010, ranking 12th against a U.S. average of $2.79 per resident.

But Nevada ranked only 41st in spending on community-based mental health programs at $38.47 per resident versus the U.S. average of $87.75. Nevada also ranked 33rd in spending on state psychiatric hospital inpatient care at $25.96 per resident versus $30.13 nationally.

 

 

 

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