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Cost Containment in a Community Mental Health Center
A. Anthony Arce; Milton S. Adams; James F. Woods; Thomas K. Kaney
Psychiatric Services 1980; doi:
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Hahnemann Community Mental Health and Mental Retardation Center Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

Faced with a major operational deficit and the end of its federal staffing grant, a community mental health center established a cost-containment committee and developed a program to engage staff support. The committee, including members of the clinical and administrative staffs and the community board, meets weekly to review requests for expenditures. In its first 11 months, it completed action on 212 requests and returned many others for further justification. Most cost savings were in the area of personnel, through such steps as nonreplacement of staff, replacement with less senior staff, and position consolidation. Other results of the committee's activities have been greater staff productivity, an increase in third-party payments, establishment of various personnel guidelines, and the acquisition of additional county funds to help cover the deficit from the termination of the staffing grant.

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