The impact of third-party payment cutbacks on the private practice of psychiatry: Three surveys

S. S. Sharfstein, H. Eist, L. Sack, I. H. Kaiser, R. A. Shadoan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Recent cutbacks in private insurance benefits and publicity funded health programs are threatening the access of Americans, particularly the poor and the disabled, to private psychiatric care. The authors present the findings of three surveys that assessed the impact of threatened or actual cuts in third-party payments on the treatment provided by private practitioners. One survey indicated that, contrary to popular opinion, more than half of the psychiatrists in Northern California see severely disturbed Medicaid patients and that they provide outpatient psychiatric services to them for less cost than would public clinics. Two surveys conducted in the Washington, D.C., area indicated that both patients and psychiatrists have suffered from insurance cutbacks, with fewer patients being able to afford intensive private treatment and psychiatrists using reduced fees and less optimal treatment modalities. The fiscal and ethical dilemma posed by the cutbacks and furter research needs are also explored.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)478-481
Number of pages4
JournalHospital and Community Psychiatry
Volume35
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 25 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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