Managed Care and Fee Discounts in Psychiatry

New Evidence

Published in: Journal of Behavioral Health Services and Research, v. 27, no. 2, May 2000, p. 215-226

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2000

by Richard M. Scheffler, A. Bowen Garrett, Deborah A. Zarin, Harold Alan Pincus

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This article describes the extent of managed care and fee discounting in psychiatric practice using data on 970 randomly sampled American Psychiatric Association members from the 1996 National Survey of Psychiatric Practice. Seventy percent of psychiatrists were found to have some patients in managed behavioral health care programs. The survey data illustrate that psychiatrists' involvement in managed care spans primary practice settings and is fairly evenly distributed across regions of the United States. Nationally, psychiatrists discount fees for 35% of their patients, with significant variation by practice ape and extent of involvement in managed behavioral health care. The average level of discount is 25% with little variation by practice type or extent of involvement in managed behavioral health care. There is little evidence that psychiatrists with patients in managed care have higher fee levels than psychiatrists with no patients in managed care.

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