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July 2017

A Path Beyond Advocacy to Improve Mental Health Services for Children and Families: Population Health Management

Author Affiliations
  • 1Lahey Health Community Network, Burlington, Massachusetts
  • 2Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Pediatr. 2017;171(7):615-616. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2017.0216

Pediatricians and child psychiatrists, among many others, advocate for the mental health needs of children and families through lobbying, highlighting research findings, and calling for professionalism. Pushing for mental health services has met resistance based on stigmas and a fee-for-service (FFS) reimbursement system that heavily favors procedures and a high patient volume. In response to FFS incentives, pediatricians favor shorter visits and child psychiatrists prefer briefer psychopharmacology appointments. Population health management offers a path beyond advocacy toward improving mental health services for children and families.

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