In related news, a new study found that spending on mental health care has increased over the past five years.
Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Americans Uncomfortable Around Mentally Ill Despite Acknowledging Discrimination
The public has a contradictory view of mental illness, according to a new poll. While most Americans believe people with such ailments are the victims of prejudice and discrimination, a substantial portion of the public say they have qualms about working in the same place or having their children attend a school where someone with a "serious" mental illness is employed (Rau, 2/27).
Modern Healthcare: Mental Health Spending Rises Following Parity Rules, Report Says
Hospital stays for mental illness or substance abuse increased as hospital visits for other medical care declined the first year insurers were required to treat behavioral health as any other medical condition, a new report found. However it's unclear to what degree the new rules, the economy, changing health benefits or less stigma associated with mental illness contributed to the demand. The results, an analysis of five years of mental health and substance abuse spending by four giant insurers, found hospitalization for mental illness increased 5.9% in 2011 from the prior year. Substance abuse hospital stays increased 19.5% in the same period (Evans, 2/27).