Proposed State Mental Health Budget Includes New Division

LAS VEGAS -- One highlight of Nevada's proposed mental health budget for the two-year period beginning in July is that it will belong to a newly reorganized agency called the Division of Public and Behavioral Health.

The proposal is to spend $60.3 million of a $166.1 million division budget on mental health services in fiscal 2014, which begins in July, and $60.6 million of a $165.1 million budget on mental health in fiscal 2015. There will also be related spending to promote the well-being of the disabled and self-sufficiency of other clients, as well as to reduce repeat criminal activity and risky behaviors.

Most of the spending in fiscal 2014 would be focused on clinical services ($54.5 million) and inpatient services ($47.8 million), with lesser amounts set aside for social services and management of substance abuse programs.

The federal Affordable Care Act, with key provisions scheduled to take effect in 2014, is expected to have a major impact on the division's funding sources. Instead of roughly three-quarters of the division's revenue coming from the state's general fund and one-quarter coming from Medicaid, the split is expected to be close to 50-50 in fiscal 2014, with Medicaid contributing 53 percent in fiscal 2015.

That is because the law will allow more lower-income individuals to become eligible for Medicaid. The division projects that 56 percent of its clients will be eligible for Medicaid in fiscal 2015, compared to 27 percent who were eligible in fiscal 2012.

There were 8,834 behavioral health clients without insurance as of February 2012, but the division expects the number of uninsured to drop to 2,433 by fiscal 2015.

 


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