Variation in Routine Psychiatric Workload: The Role of Financing Source, Managed Care Participation
Pingitore, D.P., R.M. Scheffler, D. Schwalm, D.A. Zarin, and J.C. West. “Variation in Routine Psychiatric Workload: The Role of Financing Source, Managed Care Participation and Mental Health Workforce Competition.” Mental Health Services Research 4.3 (Sep. 2002): 141-50.
This study was conducted to examine the association between psychiatrists' demographic characteristics, payment source, and managed care participation and psychiatrists' practice workload, and between the supply of other mental health providers in a psychiatrist's county of practice and psychiatrists' practice workload. Data from the 1996 American Psychiatric Association National Survey of Psychiatric Practice were merged with national countywide measures of mental health workforce and environmental data from the 1996 Area Resource File. In comparison to male psychiatrists, female psychiatrists treat fewer patients per week, provide less total hours of weekly patient care, and obtain fewer new monthly referrals. An increase in psychiatrists' managed care participation was associated with only minor increases in the number of patients per week, weekly time spent in clinical care, and number of new monthly referrals. The supply of other mental health providers was not associated with variation in practice workload. Once psychiatrists participate in managed care plans, an increase in their participation rate does not significantly expand clinical practice workload. The supply of other mental health providers was not significantly associated with variation in psychiatrists' workload, which suggests that substitution effects may not be evident with this aspect of psychiatric practice.