A Psychologist's Proactive Guide to Managed Mental Health Care

A Psychologist's Proactive Guide to Managed Mental Health Care

A Psychologist's Proactive Guide to Managed Mental Health Care

A Psychologist's Proactive Guide to Managed Mental Health Care

Synopsis

US scholars and practitioners argue that rather than merely bemoan the hegemony of managed care, clinical and counseling psychologists should learn how to capitalize on the new opportunities. They cover general issues of managed care, the modification of traditional roles, and the new roles under managed care.

Excerpt

The decade of the 1990s has witnessed a major revolution in health care that has had a staggering impact on all providers who have had to reconceptualize the vast majority of their assumptions about clinical care, how and when they deliver services, and how they are compensated for their activities. the impact has been profound and dramatic for providers in the mental health field in particular. in this book we focus on clinical and counseling psychologists.

Although many psychologists attribute the growing hegemony of managed care solely to the commercialization of the field, in reality several other factors have had an influence. Among them are the increased need for accountability in clinical practice, the exponential cost of providing health services, including mental health services, and the initial reluctance (and in some quarters continued resistance) of psychologists to constitute themselves part of the solution. That is, many psychologists and their professional organizations have struggled against the health maintenance organizations (HMOs) rather than working from within to influence their decision-making processes.

Hardly a week goes by now without some article by and for psychologists bemoaning their fates at the hands of managed care. However, this pessimistic attitude is exaggerated and in the long run unhealthy for the field. Rather, what is needed is a balanced approach that not only will prevent panic but that will help psychologists capitalize on the new opportunities. Our vision of a balanced approach guided our development of this book. To the reader, let us underscore that it is the proactive guide to managed mental health care.

The book is divided into three parts: Part I: General Issues of Managed Care , Part II: Modification of Traditional Roles Under Managed Care , and Part III: New Roles for Psychologists Under Managed Care.

In each of the chapters an optimistic and proactive approach to dealing with managed care and the new health care system is detailed. As the American icon Ann Landers has been quoted as saying, "When life deals you lemons, make lemonade." Therefore, in each of the chapters a noted expert has reviewed varied aspects of psychological practice and has given the reader a chance to see . . .

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