Date: 30 Dec 2005

Managed Care Organizations’ Use of Treatment Management Strategies for Outpatient Mental Health Care

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A nationally representative sample of managed care organizations was surveyed (response rate=92%) regarding use of treatment management techniques for outpatient mental health care in their commercial products in 1999. Bivariate tests and logistic regression models were used to examine the relationship between product type, behavioral health contracting arrangement and treatment management techniques (prior authorization, standards for time to initial appointment, concurrent review, standards for follow-up after discharge, case management, practice guidelines). Prevalence varied from 43% to 87% depending on the technique. HMO products and products with specialty behavioral health contracts were more likely to use the techniques. Product type and contracting arrangement had independent effects.