Project #16346 - Affordable Care Act Impacts on People with Mental Health Issues

Please remember to support all your statements/claims with sources provided below in the in-text citations using APA format. 

PROVIDE A THESIS and transitions that make sense please! 



The goal of this paper is to explain how aspects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA or ACA) will impact persons with mental health problems in the U.S. Healthcare System.


Key Topics Must Include:

1. Private Insurance Reforms 

- To extend young adult/dependent coverage on parents’ private insurance policies to adult children up to age 26 (currently in place). Good thing is by this age where it is clear a person has a clear diagnosis of mental illness. 

- Expansion of coverage: As access to health care coverage expands to new populations that once were ineligible for coverage, the demand for health care services will increase. It will be important to predict whether the current and projected size of the health care workforce, including for particular types of clinicians and for particular regions, will be sufficient to meet this demand. One challenge that the PPACA may face that could potentially lead to unsuccessful implementation is that primary care clinicians are not fully trained to diagnose or treat mental health problems, yet people with these conditions typically are seen in primary care more than any other setting. Perhaps re-training of the professionals (physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, etc) will be a solution in being able to meet this demand of patients needing mental health care, now that mental health care is covered under PPACA. It would be helpful to have  a structural re-org of the staff within the hospitals and clinics in order to properly re-train nurse practitioners, mental health physicians, primary care physicians, and mental health professionals in order to help them gain behavioral health expertise in treating the influx of mental health patients that come with the expansion of coverage. 


2. Integration of Mental Health with Health Care

- The law supports new ways of delivering health care that give consumers access to more coordinated serves such as Mental Health Care Homes where people with psychiatric disabilities have primary care and behavioral care under one roof.

- Encouraging more coordinated primary care and specialty mental health care, promoting preventive services, fostering workforce development initiatives, and making other changes designed to improve the quality and availability of services that people receive. 


3. Quality Improvement

- In the old bill, doctors would be rewarded not for the quality of care but for quantity of care…number of procedures. Now there are Penalties for hospitals with high readmission rates so the goal of the PPACA is to reward (with money incentives) hospitals for quality of care, not on how many patients were seen. AKA linking payment to outcomes and reward good practice.


4. Changes to Medicaid and Medicare

- Setting minimum requirements regarding services that health plans must cover and 

including mental health and substance abuse services in that mandate.


Use ONLY These Resources Below, unless there is another peer-reviewed journal article or news article (not book) worth citing in the paper - then use that in addition to the ones below to support your statements (Please use correct APA in-text citation):

Experts call for integrating mental health into primary care: Research Activities, January 2012, No. 377. Retrieved from


Mental Health Bill may limit young American's clout


The Affordable Care Act: Expected Developments and Implications for County and Local Behavioral Health Programs


Koyanagi, C. (2009). How will health reform help people with mental illnesses? Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law. Washington, D.C.


Antos, J. & Miller, T.P. (2010). A Better Prescription: AIE Scholars on Health Care Reform.  American Enterprise Institute, Washington, D.C.


Garfield, R.L., Zuvekas, S.H., Lave, J.R. & Donohue, J.M. (2011).  The impact of national health care reform on adults with severe mental disorders. American Journal of Psychiatry 168(5): pp. 486-494. Retrieved from


Garland, R.I., Lave, J.R. & Donohue, J.M. (2010). Health reform and the scope of benefits for mental health and substance use disorder services.  Psychiatric Services 61(11): 1081 – 1086. Retrieved from

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Due By (Pacific Time) 11/09/2013 05:00 pm
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