December 19, 2022

Florida’s mental health care system is a ‘mess.’ Group will pitch reforms.

Sam Ogozalek writes:

"Soon, a state commission created last year will publish interim recommendations on how to reform Florida’s confusing and underfunded system.

The Commission on Mental Health and Substance Abuse’s initial findings must be sent to DeSantis and legislative leaders by Jan. 1. A final report is due next September.


The commission plans to keep requesting data from state agencies to figure out how Florida is spending money on mental health care.

It’s 'daunting' to track how much the state is investing in the system, according to the nonprofit Florida Policy Institute [emphasis added].

Behavioral health funding is appropriated to several agencies. Most of it is separately administered by the Agency for Health Care Administration through the state’s Medicaid program and by the Department of Children and Families.

Medicaid provides health care coverage to individuals with disabilities and very low-income families and children. During fiscal year 2020-21, Medicaid expenditures on mental health services totaled over $10 billion in Florida.

The Department of Children and Families is responsible for safety-net behavioral health services for uninsured adults and children. It contracts with seven organizations that distribute money to local providers. The department was appropriated $1.1 billion for community-based care in the state’s most recent budget, according to the Florida Policy Institute."


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