Article

The journal of mental health administration

, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 226-236

Pragmatics of tracking mental health outcomes in a managed care setting

  • Gary M. BurlingameAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Brigham Young University
  • , Michael J. LambertAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Brigham Young University
  • , Curtis W. ReisingerAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Brigham Young University
  • , Wayne M. NeffAffiliated withHuman Affairs International in Murray
  • , Julie MosierAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Brigham Young University

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Abstract

Accountability, cost effectiveness, and continuous quality improvement are essential features of all managed health care systems. However, application of these principles to mental health treatments has lagged behind other health care services. In this article, administrative, practice, and technical issues are addressed through a joint effort between academically based researchers and administrators from two large managed health care organizations. Principles related to the measurement of outcome, instrument selection, and obstacles to the implementation of an ongoing program to assess mental health treatment outcomes are identified. Finally, principles for successfully changing mental health provider behavior toward outcome assessment and the implications of such for mental health delivery systems are discussed.