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April 11th, 2011

Branstad/Reynolds Outline Vision for Mental Health Reform in Iowa

Governor Terry E. Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds today briefed members of the media on the administration’s plans to address mental health reform in Iowa.

“Iowa currently has 99 counties with 99 plans for mental health care,” said Reynolds. “With these different plans come inconsistency in access, service and quality. It is time for Iowa to establish a statewide system of care that secures outcomes for the vulnerable and is accountable for the public.”

“We envision a system that creates a balance between several factors, including availability, affordability and quality of care,” said Branstad.

There are significant issues in the present delivery of services to individuals with intellectual disability and mental health conditions. These issues include, but are not limited to:

· There are 99 county plans for care rather than a statewide system of care.

· County investment in services is not consistent or equitable.

· Disparity in access, service levels of care, and quality

· Essential crisis services exist in only a few counties.

· Services decided by legal settlement and residency verification process.

· Lack of community based system of care

· Reliance on property tax

The Branstad-Reynolds administration has established the following goals:

· Establish a statewide system of care that both secures outcomes for vulnerable Iowans with these conditions and is accountable to the public.

· Secure a reasonable balance between access, affordability, quality, and appropriateness.

The Branstad-Reynolds administration is working to address these significant issues in a thoughtful manner over the next several years. Iowa currently spends over $1.3 billion on mental health services.

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The Iowa Republican

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