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Cost of Forensic Psychiatric Hospitalization
Abraham Heller
Psychiatric Services 1980; doi:
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Departments of Psychiatry and Community Medicine Wright State University School of Medicine Dayton, Ohio

American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

In recent years the daily expenditure per patient treated in Ohio's forensic hospital has increased tenfold and now exceeds $100. The figure reflects both a declining patient population and increased fiscal support, in part as the result of a 1974 federal court order mandating major improvements in conditions at the state's only forensic hospital. The author compares population and costs trends in the forensic division with trends in Ohio's mental health and mental retardation divisions and presents cost data obtained in a survey of forensic facilities in other states. He concludes that forensic facilities will tend to become smaller and to serve fewer patients, but services will be costly. Because of legal pressures to provide proper treatment and the possibility of personal damage suits, clinicians may be forced to refuse to practice in such facilities unless they are adequately funded.

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