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High users of outpatient mental health services, I: Definition and characteristics

High users of outpatient mental health services, I: Definition and characteristics

American Journal of Psychiatry 145(1): 19-24

Mental health coverage generally limits benefits for high use, which is assumed to be discretionary. The authors present data from the National Medical Care Utilization and Expenditure Survey. Of the individuals who made mental health outpatient visits in 1980, 9.4% made 25 or more visits and accounted for 50% of mental health visits and expenditures. These high users were compared with low users and with high users of other health care. One-third of the mental health high users were highly disabled and had multiple medical disorders. The authors point out the heterogeneity of this population and suggest that psychiatric benefits be differentiated according to patients' needs and services offered.

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Accession: 005573503

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 3337288

DOI: 10.1176/ajp.145.1.19

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