Breaking News
March 19, 2019 - Scientists reverse alcohol-seeking behavior in rats with flip of a switch
March 19, 2019 - Researchers hope blood test that accurately diagnoses fibromyalgia could be available within five years
March 19, 2019 - New Planmeca ProScanner 2.0 offers fast and dependable intraoral imaging
March 19, 2019 - A new option for reducing LDL cholesterol in patients at high risk for heart attack, stroke
March 19, 2019 - Common medications to treat heartburn linked to increased risks for kidney failure
March 19, 2019 - Current HBV genome sequences help deduce ancient human population movements into Australia
March 19, 2019 - Pure omega-3 prescription drug significantly reduces the occurrence of ischemic events
March 19, 2019 - Researchers use big data to gain better understanding of hepatitis E virus
March 19, 2019 - Use of synthetic psychedelic linked to improvements in depression and anxiety
March 19, 2019 - Knee Pain Not Tied to Activity Levels in Knee Osteoarthritis
March 19, 2019 - Study shows benefits of delayed cord clamping in healthy babies
March 19, 2019 - Pharmacists can undertake overall clinical responsibility for patients, shows study
March 19, 2019 - A cell’s “self-destruct” function could yield new therapies
March 19, 2019 - Latest advances and perspectives of all AI types used in pharmaceutical R&D
March 19, 2019 - Prophylactic cranial irradiation used as standard approach for patients with NSCLC
March 19, 2019 - Sugar-sweetened beverages may be linked with increased risk of cardiovascular mortality
March 19, 2019 - AHA News: Black Woman in Their 50s Face Especially High Stroke Risk
March 19, 2019 - Secrets of early life revealed from less than half a teaspoon of blood
March 19, 2019 - Immune cells engineered to tattle on suspicious cells in the body
March 19, 2019 - Heart attack patients who are taken to heart care centres directly survive longer
March 19, 2019 - IVF babies have increased in birthweight over the past 25 years, study reveals
March 19, 2019 - Study highlights the need for psychiatric care to be integrated into cancer treatment
March 19, 2019 - Testosterone treatment lowers recurrence rates in low-risk prostate cancer patients
March 19, 2019 - Caterpillars could hold the secret to new treatment for Osteoarthritis
March 19, 2019 - Parkinson’s treatment delivers a power-up to brain cell ‘batteries’
March 19, 2019 - Stanford launches new Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence
March 19, 2019 - Wireless earphones may cause cancer
March 18, 2019 - ACC/AHA guideline for prevention of cardiovascular disease released
March 18, 2019 - UTA nursing professor receives $6.575 million to attack musculoskeletal diseases
March 18, 2019 - Gene medication shows promise to treat spinal cord injuries
March 18, 2019 - First Human Study of “Robotic” RaniPill™ Capsule to Replace Injections Announced by Rani Therapeutics
March 18, 2019 - Food Allergy Testing: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information
March 18, 2019 - Altered brain activity patterns of Parkinson’s captured in mice
March 18, 2019 - Apple Heart Study demonstrates ability of wearable technology to detect atrial fibrillation | News Center
March 18, 2019 - Cardiovascular benefits of diabetes drug extend across a wide spectrum of patients, shows study
March 18, 2019 - Novel cardiac pump shows superior outcomes in patients with advanced heart failure
March 18, 2019 - U.S. FDA Grants Priority Review for Fedratinib New Drug Application in Myelofibrosis
March 18, 2019 - Living like a caveman won’t make you thin—but it might make you healthy
March 18, 2019 - Modified immune cells issue alert when detecting cancer in mice | News Center
March 18, 2019 - Dementia caregivers design robots for alleviating stress and increasing joyful moments
March 18, 2019 - VR technology could help improve balance in humans
March 18, 2019 - Study demonstrates effective way to slow progression of cerebrovascular disease in older adults
March 18, 2019 - Premature babies also have protective anti-viral antibodies
March 18, 2019 - Painkillers taken by pregnant mothers unlikely to cause asthma in the child
March 18, 2019 - Fibromyalgia can be reliably detected in blood samples
March 18, 2019 - Marijuana use has dropped among most teens after legalization
March 18, 2019 - Legacy Pharmaceutical Packaging, LLC Issues Voluntary Nationwide Recall of Losartan Potassium Tablets, USP, 25mg, 50mg, And 100mg Due to The Detection of Trace Amounts Of N-Nitroso N-Methyl 4-Amino Butyric Acid (NMBA) Impurity Found in The Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API)
March 18, 2019 - Researchers identify early home and family factors that contribute to obesity
March 18, 2019 - Fate and festivity: Match Day 2019
March 18, 2019 - Study finds TAVR to be as good as open-heart surgery for patients at low surgical risk
March 18, 2019 - EU-funded project is developing new tools for diagnosing cancer
March 18, 2019 - Gluten, lactose, food dyes in pills could be causing side effects finds study
March 18, 2019 - Taking painkillers during pregnancy is not responsible for asthma risk in children, study shows
March 18, 2019 - Prediagnosis Psychiatric Care Linked to Worse Cancer Mortality
March 18, 2019 - Paris hospital halts stool study after donor deluge
March 18, 2019 - Partial oral antibiotic therapy shows efficacy and safety in patients with infectious endocarditis
March 18, 2019 - Olympus improves access to science education through BioBus collaboration
March 18, 2019 - Depression screening does not improve quality of life in heart attack patients
March 18, 2019 - Echocardiography may aid in patient selection for TMVR
March 18, 2019 - Are ‘Inactive’ Ingredients in Your Drugs Really So Harmless?
March 18, 2019 - Wearable technology can safely identify atrial fibrillation
March 18, 2019 - Scientists tackle rare retinal disease in unique research project
March 18, 2019 - Death By A Thousand Clicks
March 18, 2019 - Absorbable, antibiotic-eluting envelope can reduce rate of cardiac device infections
March 18, 2019 - Hormonal treatment associated with depression in men with prostate cancer
March 18, 2019 - Porvair Sciences launches reinforced 96-well deep round microplate
March 18, 2019 - Simplified catheter ablation could slash waiting lists for atrial fibrillation patients
March 18, 2019 - BFR therapy as part of rehabilitation following ACL surgery may slow bone loss
March 18, 2019 - A human model to test implants for cataract surgery
March 18, 2019 - New risk adjustment model could reduce financial penalty for safety net hospitals
March 18, 2019 - NHS cancer patients’ wait to start treatment worrying
March 18, 2019 - Inventiva Announces Results from Phase IIb Clinical Trial with Lanifibranor in Systemic Sclerosis
March 18, 2019 - Cologuard
March 18, 2019 - Researchers find evidence of prenatal environment tuning genomic imprinting
March 18, 2019 - Dolomite Bio launches novel Nadia product family for single-cell research
March 18, 2019 - Intellipharmaceutics Announces Resubmission of New Drug Application to the U.S. FDA for its Oxycodone ER
March 18, 2019 - Excessive gestational weight gain tied to maternal morbidity
March 18, 2019 - RCEM issues position statement on metrics to supplement four-hour standard target
March 17, 2019 - Noncontrast Brain MRI Effective for Monitoring Multiple Sclerosis
March 17, 2019 - Brain region plays key role in regulation of parenting behavior, study finds
California’s tax on millionaires yields big benefits for people with mental illness, study finds

California’s tax on millionaires yields big benefits for people with mental illness, study finds

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

A statewide tax on the wealthy has significantly boosted mental health programs in California’s largest county, helping to reduce homelessness, incarceration and hospitalization, according to a report released Tuesday.

Revenue from the tax, the result of a statewide initiative passed in 2004, also expanded access to therapy and case management to almost 130,000 people up to age 25 in Los Angeles County, according to the report by the Rand Corp. Many were poor and from minority communities, the researchers said.

“Our results are encouraging about the impact these programs are having,” said Scott Ashwood, one of the authors and an associate policy researcher at Rand. “Overall we are seeing that these services are reaching a vulnerable population that needs them.”

The positive findings came just a few weeks after a critical state audit accused California counties of hoarding the mental health money — and the state of failing to ensure that the money was being spent. The February audit said that the California Department of Health Care Services allowed local mental health departments to accumulate $231 million in unspent funds by the end of the 2015-16 fiscal year — which should have been returned to the state because it was not spent in the allowed time frame.

Proposition 63, now known as the Mental Health Services Act, imposed a 1 percent tax on people who earn more than $1 million annually to pay for expanded mental health care in California. The measure raises about $2 billion each year for such services, such as preventing mental illness from progressing, reducing stigma and improving treatment. Altogether, counties have received $16.53 billion.

Los Angeles County receives the biggest share of the money.

The money is “critically important” for the community mental health system and for people who need treatment but haven’t been served well in traditional ways, said Toby Ewing, executive director of the state’s Mental Health Services Oversight & Accountability Commission. “We can only imagine the challenges we would face if those funds weren’t available.”

Ewing said the recent state audit highlighted problems that need to be addressed. “But at the same time, the vast majority of dollars that have been made available to counties are actually delivering care and services in our communities and these dollars are being spent in creative and inventive ways,” he said.

The funds go beyond the more basic services that counties traditionally provide, helping to pay for workers to reach out to homeless people and triage patients with mental health issues in hospitals, he said.

The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health commissioned the Rand report, which was based on data from 2012 to 2016. Researchers also interviewed participants in mental health programs.

The report covered two main programs — one for prevention and early intervention of mental illness in young people and another aimed at improving outcomes for people with serious mental illness.

Those who participate in the second program are in and out of jails and hospitals, and really need intensive services, according to Debbie Innes-Gomberg, the department’s deputy director. She said she was pleased Rand found that the services are making a difference. “It is a very good investment,” she said, adding that the county plans to add more participants this year.

In the future, the county wants to focus even more on prevention for at-risk children by promoting strong familial relationships and stable housing, Innes-Gomberg said. And L.A. County plans to invest more in mental health services in schools. “If on a school campus there is an issue and somebody needs to be evaluated right away, we’re going to be able to develop the capacity to do that across the county,” she said.

She acknowledged that the state audit on unspent funds was fair — and “an opportunity for improvement for counties and the state.”

The audit and the Rand study addressed different questions and are not necessarily contradictory, according to mental health advocates. Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, who wrote the Mental Health Services Act as a state legislator, said he was “thrilled” about the results from Rand but agreed that “in many counties, the money needs to get out faster because the needs are growing.”

“If we invest in early intervention and prevention, if we invest in whatever it takes for the people who are the most chronic and seriously ill, their lives will be much better and so will our communities,” he said.

One participant told researchers, “I would be dead or a criminal” without the services he was receiving, while another said they helped her accomplish her goal of going one month without being hospitalized for mental health care.

Researchers recommended that Los Angeles County improve its data collection and conduct a cost-benefit analysis of the services.

“There are reasons to be concerned about how maybe the money is being spent or not being spent,” said Rand’s Ashwood. “But studies like ours are showing there are positive things happening from these programs.”

KHN’s coverage in California is supported in part by Blue Shield of California Foundation.


Kaiser Health NewsThis article was reprinted from khn.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles