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Are state Medicaid policies sentencing people with mental illnesses to prison?
Date:7/22/2014

or society."

The study examined survey data from 16,844 prison inmates in states with and without restrictive authorization requirements overlaid with state Medicaid policies and data as well as usage rates of atypical antipsychotics (a newer drug class that is frequently targeted by prior authorization requirements).

The study's findings come amid a wave of scrutiny surrounding the cost and consequences of failing to adequately provide for mental health care, including the nexus between shortchanging mental health and rising prison expenditures.

"The media has picked up on how incarcerating the mentally ill raises a range of troubling concerns, from the high cost of incarceration, to the inadequate treatment of mentally ill inmates, and the potential for self-inflicted harm among these patients," says Darius Lakdawalla, Quintiles Chair in Pharmaceutical Development and Regulatory Innovation, and a professor at the Schaeffer Center at USC. "At the same time, the American public is increasingly worried about untreated mental illness triggering violent behavior in the community. Our study suggests state Medicaid policies may be part of the solution to these problems."


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Contact: Robert Perkins
perkinsr@usc.edu
213-740-9226
University of Southern California
Source:Eurekalert

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