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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Melissa E. Abraham, MS (Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine)
Description: This book is an extended question and answer session about issues pertinent to mental health providers who work or will be working in a managed care environment. Topics such as authorization and financing are explained in a manner that is relevant to the day-to-day practice of mental health clinicians.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide a "nuts-and-bolts" resource for psychotherapists about the business of providing services in a managed care setting. Mental health practitioners are frequently frustrated by the complex terminology and logistics of health care delivery in today's environment, and this book was written to clarify the issues most important to mental health clinicians.
Audience: This book is written for all levels of mental health professionals, and is most appropriate for those who are on the service delivery side, rather than more experienced health care administrators. The authors' choice of questions and topics follows from their extensive experience in managed care and behavioral health care delivery.
Features: The book discusses trends occurring in the managed care environment and includes some general predictions about the changes that might develop in the near future. Terminology and implications of managed care concepts such as accountability, decision-making/utilization management, outcomes measurement and monitoring, profiling and credentialing, treatment plans, and authorization are explained in straightforward, lay terms.
Assessment: This book is a useful read for those involved in direct provision of mental health services. The book is organized more as a read-through text rather than a desk-top reference, and is more appropriate for "beginners" in managed care than for better informed behavioral health care administrators. It provides easy-to-read descriptions and practical examples that illustrate how particular features of managed care are relevant to one's own daily practice, and also clarifies some common misconceptions.