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Persons With Mental Disorders More Often Denied Care
Restrictions on specialized services and out-of-pocket expenses still present barriers to medical care for people with mental disorders. According to analysis of data from the 1994 National Health Interview Study in the December issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry, persons with mental illnesses were twice as likely as those without to report having unmet needs for medical care. Although the Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act of 1996 was designed to improve this situation, people diagnosed with mental disorders were twice as those without to report having been denied insurance because of a preexisting condition or to have stayed in a job for fear of losing benefits. ["Mental Disorders and Access to Medical Care in the United States," by Benjamin G. Druss, M.D., M.P.H., et.al., p. 1775] APAfastFAX# 6901. Please direct media inquiries to Dr. Druss at firstname.lastname@example.org
Managed Care Carve-out Decreases Costs in Massachussetts
A study of costs and utilization of services before and after implementation of a managed behavioral healthcare carve-out plan for Massachusetts state employees and their dependents in 1993 shows a significant decrease in spending per episode of care in both inpatient and outpatient facilities. According to a study in the December issue of Psychiatric Services, the decrease was largest for inpatient care, 54 percent. Costs for episodes involving both inpatient and outpatient care fell by 46 percent, and costs for outpatient episodes were 21 percent lower. The most common disorders seen were major depression and substance abuse. ["How a Managed Behavioral Health Care Carve-Out Plan Affected Spending for Episodes o
Contact: Erin Murphy
American Psychiatric Association