EMPTY PROMISES?

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FYI: While New York State’s Medicaid system offers children with severe mental disorders better coverage than most programs nationwide, the benefits listed on paper still fall short of what their parents say they need. The Washington, D.C.-based Bazelon Center or Mental Health Law conducted focus groups with parents in New York City and Schoharie and Onondaga counties to determine the quality of care their kids get. New York City parents complained that providers are reluctant to offer services before a crisis erupts and overemphasize basic medical treatments, while avoiding intensive therapy programs. The state’s Office of Mental Health dismissed the study’s findings, arguing to the Albany Times-Union that its focus group–40 families–was too small to be relevant. [2/12/03]