The Relationship Between State Mental Health Agency and Medicaid Spending with Outcomes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Little is known about relationships between state mental health expenditures and outcomes. This analysis evaluated relationships between spending and income across the states and mental health outcomes. Relationships between state per capita SMHA and Medicaid mental health spending, as well as median household income, percent of residents on Medicaid and Mental Health America (MHA) ranking, suicide and incarceration rates were assessed using correlations and multiple regressions. Median household income predicted MHA overall and youth ranking. Per capita Medicaid mental health spending predicted MHA prevalence ranking. Median household income and Medicaid spending predicted access to care ranking and incarcerations. Median income, Medicaid spending and percent receiving Medicaid predicted suicide rate. The findings suggest median household income may, in some cases, predict mental health treatment quality and outcomes more strongly than spending. However, the relationship with per capita mental health Medicaid spending on outcomes is also noteworthy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)307-314
Number of pages8
JournalCommunity Mental Health Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • Incarceration
  • Mental health
  • Spending
  • Suicide
  • US states

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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