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Day Hospitalization as a Cost-Effective Alternative to Inpatient Care: A Pilot Study
William Guillette; Brian Crowley; S. Alan Savitz; F. Dee Goldberg
Psychiatric Services 1978; doi:
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Claim Department Aetna Life and Casualty Hartford, Connecticut

Washington, D.C.

Mental Health Administration Rockville, Maryland

American Psychiatric Association

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Two private day hospitals and an insurance company offering group health coverage to federal employees undertook a pilot study to determine if providing insurance coverage for day hospitalization on the same basis as for inpatient treatment was a feasible means of controlling the cost of psychiatric care. The study included 31 patients who otherwise would have been hospitalized; most had histories of severe psychiatric disorders and extensive treatment. Using the measure that the day hospital patients would have been in inpatient treatment for the same number of days, the authors estimate that the use of day treatment saved the insurer more than $255,000. They recommend that day hospitalization be reimbursed on the same basis as in patient care if a day hospital can meet stringent criteria ensuring that it provides active, appropriate treatment, and they present a list of such criteria.

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