Evaluates quality of care for depression before and after the implementation of Medicare's prospective payment system (PPS) using explicit and implicit reviews of clinical data from the medical records of patients in specialty psychiatric units and general hospital wards. Patients were more likely to receive psychological services in the psychiatric wards but were more likely to receive better traditional general medical services in the medical wards. More general medical complications occurred in the psychiatric wards. The key for caring for patients with depression is thus to find a way to provide high-quality, integrated psychiatric and medical care for patients hospitalized for depression, regardless of where they are hospitalized.
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