If You Make it, Will They Come?
Hispanics are less likely than non-Hispanic whites to use mental health service, even after controlling for various social, environmental, and health factors. Mental health services disparities between Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites have been well-documented and consistent over time. However, very little is known about the impact mental health care organizations have on Hispanics’ access to mental health care, especially since the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The three papers in this dissertation utilize the 2010, 2014, and 2016 waves of the National Mental Services Survey (N-MHSS) to assess the impact of the ACA on Hispanics’ access to mental health care and mental health care organizations’ provision of integrated services. The N-MHSS is a national repository of data on the mental health organizations in the United States. This dataset was created to report the characteristics and client enrollment at mental health care organizations. Paper 1 uses the 2014 N-MHSS to describe the structural characteristics of mental health care organizations according to the proportion of Hispanics they serve and the organizations’ structural characteristics in Medicaid expansion and non-expansion states. Paper 2 uses the 2010, 2014, and 2016 N-MHSS waves to examines the impact of the ACA and the health safety net on Hispanic admissions at mental health care organizations. These three waves were merged together using a repeated cross-sectional design to assess whether Hispanic admissions increased after the implementation of the ACA. The final paper uses the 2014 and 2016 N-MHSS waves to assesses whether integrated care has increased at Hispanic-serving organizations compared with mainstream organizations two years after the implementation of the ACA. This paper also assessed whether the increased funding for integrated services under the ACA has disproportionately affected mainstream organizations compared with Hispanic-serving organizations.