News Headlines Article

Access to Mental Health Services Strained as Benefits Expand
Health Leaders Media

Federal rules for 2014 give Americans more access to behavioral health coverage, but providers’ ability to meet what may be a pent up demand for services is questionable. That’s because hospitals and health systems are already struggling to meet the needs of a growing number of patients with mental health diagnoses.

There is no shortage of examples that show the limits of mental healthcare in this country. On any given day, there are scores of psychiatric patients waiting in emergency departments for an inpatient bed. Known as boarding, the amount of time a psych patient waits in an ED varies across the country. In California, the average is 10 hours. In central Ohio, it’s 19.