Organization of mental health care in HMOs

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Abstract

This article examines the relationship between the basic structure of a health maintenance organization's delivery system and its organization of mental health services. The conclusion is that the organization of mental health services is strongly influenced by whether the HMO is organized as a group-based delivery system or as a contractually-linked set of independent providers. In addition, larger HMOs of all types are more likely to contract for mental health services, as are HMOs in more competitive markets.

The authors are grateful for the financial support of the National Institute of Mental Health, the cooperation of the HMO survey respondents, and the comments of Thomas McGuire and Robert Dorwart.