An economic and clinical rationale for changing utilization review practices for outpatient psychotherapy
- Cite this article as:
- Hennessy, K.D. & Green-Hennessy, S. The Journal of Mental Health Administration (1997) 24: 340. doi:10.1007/BF02832667
The growth of managed care has led to greater cost consciousness in the financing and delivery of mental health and substnace abuse services. The authors examine whether pressures to reduce the costs associated with mental health and substance abuse treatment have led to the overapplication of a popular managed care strategy, utilization review (UR), to the management of outpatient psychotherpay benefits. Several arguments are presented highlighting why changing outpatient psychotherapy UR practices would be in the best economic and clinical interests of all involved parties, including payers, managed care organizatios, (MCOs), mental health consumers, and providers. A number of alternatives to the aggressive management of outpatient psychotherapy benefits are outlined and discussed.