Applying Medicaid Flexibility to Meet Behavioral Health Needs of Young People

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that 13–20% of children living in the U.S. experience a mental disorder in a given year. The prevalence of these conditions is on the rise, and in the wake of recent tragedies, addressing the behavioral health needs of young people is an especially critical priority.

Medicaid—operated by states—is the single largest provider of mental health services. Applying Medicaid Flexibility to Improve State Design of Benefits to Meet Significant Behavioral Health Needs of Young People examines states’ efforts to improve behavioral health care and outcomes for young people, and in cost-effective ways.  It discusses ways states can address disparities in care, including family and peer support, school-based services, and telemedicine.

This report was written by Frank Rider with support from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration through the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors.