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Arch Psychiatr Nurs. 1994 Feb;8(1):9-13.

Private insurance coverage for the treatment of mental illness versus general medical care: a policy of inequity.

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1
Yale University School of Nursing, Yale-New Haven Hospital, CT 06536-0740.

Abstract

Private insurance coverage has historically been and continues to be discriminatory toward patients requiring treatment for mental illness and substance abuse disorders in comparison with those in need of general medical care. Factors contributing to this disparity include stigma, relatively low overt consumer demand for psychiatric care, lack of knowledge about psychiatric illness and treatment on the part of insurers, a historical reliance on public sector psychiatry, and the assumption that more liberal psychiatric benefits result in unnecessary and excessive use. Strategies aimed at eliminating discriminatory insurance practices against those in need of mental health care must be implemented. Recommended approaches include further research on the cost effectiveness of mental health care, public education regarding the nature of mental illness and its treatment, patient/family advocacy, and the marketing of services by mental health professionals.

PMID:
8203946
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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