GA-U Clients: Challenges and Opportunities

May 2006 |
Online Library

This study found that among FY 2003 GA-U clients, 69 percent had at least one chronic physical condition, 36 percent had a mental illness diagnosis and 32 percent had a substance abuse problem identified in available administrative records. Many GA-U clients – half – transitioned to Medicaid Disabled coverage by the end of FY 2004. GA-U clients with a mental illness diagnosis were most likely to make this transition. The study also found that mental illness and substance abuse increased the frequency of ER visits and that substance abuse increased the risk of arrest. Medical costs accounted for half of DSHS spending on GA-U clients. Findings support longstanding concerns that GA-U clients lack a medical home and access to adequate preventive care, including mental health and substance abuse treatment services.

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