Public health organizations continued to pay an increasingly larger share of the national tab for mental health services while the portion paid by private insurance remained unchanged between 1991 and 2001, according to a report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration released today. Public sources accounted for 63% of mental health spending and 76% of substance-abuse treatment expenditures in 2001, up from 57% and 62% respectively in 1991, according to the report. Private insurance paid for 22% of mental health expenditures in both 1991 and 2001. Medicaid is the largest payer for mental health services at 27%; Medicare paid 7%, other state and local spending contributed 23%, private insurance, 22%; other private spending, 16%; other federal spending, 5%. View an online version of the study report. -- by Joseph Conn
Mental healthcare mostly paid for by public spending
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