Commentary: Affordable Care Act Could Benefit Treatment of Co-Occurring Disorders

Nearly nine million Americans suffer from mental health and substance abuse issues. Unfortunately, only eight percent are treated for both disorders. Meanwhile, over 55 percent receive no treatment whatsoever. This situation may be addressed by enactment of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Healthcare providers will have a financial incentive to merge services. Studies have shown a disproportionate cost of care for this portion of the population. This commentary’s author, Andrew Kessler, suggests that, “The ACA also has the potential to benefit patients by emphasizing preventive interventions, emphasizing services in the home and community instead of in institutions, and calling for enhancements of long-term care coverage and service quality.”

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