The Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 requires nursing homes to provide basic mental health services for all residents and to give active mental health treatment, a set of specialized mental health services, to those residents who are admitted with a serious mental illness. This article examines the potential size of the nursing home population who will require mental health services, its demographic composition, and the facilities in which these individuals reside using the Institutional Population Component of the National Medical Expenditure Survey. Estimates of the potential costs of providing monthly psychotherapy and pharmacological management to this population in nursing homes indicate that the mandate will have significant financial effects on nursing facilities. Conclusions about how the requirements for maintaining the mental and psychosocial well-being of nursing home residents may affect the future of nursing home care and mental health care are considered.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/michael_smyer/73/