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Am J Psychiatry. 1980 May;137(5):553-8.

Utilization of health and mental health services in a large insured population.


The authors analyzed 1975 data on the use of health and mental health services by the 2.3 million people covered by Michigan Blue Cross and Blue Shield. Only 4.6% of the covered population submitted hospital or physician claims for mental disorder; these people accounted for 7.3% of total hospital and physician charges for all health services in the covered population. According to the claims submitted, nonpsychiatric physicians saw almost half of all patients who were given a diagnosis of mental disorder, but psychiatrists accounted for the great bulk of mental health services and charges to these patients. High utilizers comprise a small proportion of all patients but account for a high proportion of charges for mental disorders and for all diagnoses.

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