Pragmatics of tracking mental health outcomes in a managed care setting
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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.
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