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The $293 Billion Elephant In The Waiting Room

According to data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, more than 41 million (18 percent) American adults had some form of mental illness and nearly 20 million (8 percent) had an addiction in 2011. Costs for treating patients with chronic medical conditions accompanied by mental illnesses and addictions can be two to three times higher than those without these disorders, totaling an estimated $293 billion in 2012 across commercially-insured, Medicaid and Medicare beneficiaries in the United States.

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