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September 9, 1998

Managed Care for Mental Health in Tennessee—Reply

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.WinkerMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1998;280(10):884-885. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-280-10-jac80015

In Reply.—We disagree with Dr Hurley's generalization that the entire TennCare program is a failure. TennCare is not TennCare Partners. TennCare is a Medicaid managed care experiment for general health care.1 It began earlier and is much larger and more stable than the troubled TennCare Partners for mental health and substance abuse care.

We agree that the TennCare Partners program needs substantial improvements. It is therefore heartening to learn that since the publication of our article, Governor Sundquist has expressed a firm determination to revamp this managed care experiment for mental health care and has committed $7.7 million of emergency funding to give support to the program.2