Abstract

One of the major concerns about the changing U.S. healthcare systems is whether they will improve or diminish the quality and cost-effectiveness of medical care. The shift from a fee-for-service to a prepaid method of reimbursement has greatly changed the incentives of patients to seek care as well as those of providers to supply it. This change poses a particular challenge for care of depressed patients, a vulnerable population that often does not advocate for its own care. This book documents the inefficiencies of our national systems — prepaid as well as fee-for-service — for treating depression and explores how they can be improved. The authors urge the integration of both medical and economic considerations in designing policies for the treatment of depression. They show that by spending more money efficiently on care, the nation will gain greater health improvements per dollar invested and a more productive population.

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