Today PsychOdyssey is pleased to announce the posting of its first major research paper, entitled Will Medicaid’s 3 Big Changes Improve Recoveries of Adults with Schizophrenia in New Jersey?
This 64 page academic paper with 80 cited references analyzes the implications of Medicaid’s major pending changes on the recoveries of New Jerseyans with schizophrenia. The paper reviews the history of Medicaid and examines the details of the Affordable Care Act as they relate to the Garden State. It also explores the implications of New Jersey’s plans to move its Medicaid-funded behavioral health system to a fee-for-service managed care system. To our knowledge, PsychOdyssey’s paper marks the most significant research effort in New Jersey to date to assess the likely impact of the state’s behavioral health policy changes on the state’s most vulnerable citizens, those with the most severe psychiatric disabilities who are most dependent on Medicaid for the funding of their care.
From the abstract:
Implementation of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will bring 3 big changes to New Jersey’s Medicaid system very soon and very nearly at once. The changes are managed care, expansion, and reform. Will they improve the recoveries for New Jersey Medicaid beneficiaries with schizophrenia?
This paper considers five change domains by which to classify and evaluate elements of the coming changes to New Jersey Medicaid. It reviews the requirements of care for schizophrenia, parameters of recovery from schizophrenia, outcomes and measures of progress with schizophrenia, and the Medicaid system today that funds treatments of schizophrenia. It then examines the elements of Medicaid’s three major changes as they relate to New Jerseyans with schizophrenia. Finally, referencing several research articles, it analyzes the likely effects of these changes to see if they will improve the recoveries of New Jerseyans with schizophrenia. The paper considers these things from the viewpoints of enrolled, soon to be enrolled and not to be enrolled New Jerseyans with schizophrenia.
The paper concludes that Medicaid’s 3 big changes in general will not improve recoveries of New Jerseyans with schizophrenia, although it acknowledges that those soon to be enrolled because of Medicaid expansion will be better off than they would be uninsured. But neither will the changes necessarily worsen recoveries. The author concludes that Medicaid’s 3 big changes were never about improving recoveries, or even about improving the behavioral health system, and laments that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act missed a rare opportunity for major reform of behavioral health care in America.