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June 1998

Psychotherapy and Managed Care

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1998;55(6):561-562. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.55.6.561

Managed care has affected psychiatric care more radically than it has other medical fields, by shaping care so that psychiatrists are paid primarily for making a diagnosis and prescribing medication while other professionals, most typically social workers, are paid for providing psychotherapy. This pattern is fostered because social workers, who have not undergone lengthy and expensive medical education and training, are not as costly. In addition, this pattern probably reflects the continued belief that psychotherapy is designed to uncover and treat the causes of psychiatric disorders rather than to provide psychological support and help the patient cope with manifestations and consequences of the illness.

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