Hospital and Community Psychiatry has asked Steven S. Sharfstein, M. D., to serve as editor of this quarterly column focused on issues related to the economics of mental health care. The column is intended to provide a synthesis of clinical and economic concerns, and to sensitize the clinician to economic issues and the administrator to clinical issues that are confronted every day in mental health settings.Dr. Sharfstein, deputy medical director of the American Psychiatric Association, has written extensively on health insurance coverage of mental illness and related economic issues. This month's case is presented by Daniel Y. Patterson, M. D., chief of psychiatry for the Kaiser-Georgetown Community Health Plan in Springfield, Virginia; case discussion is by Dr. Patterson and Dr. Sharfstein. Comments should be addressed to Dr. Sharfstein at the American Psychiatric Association, 1400 K Street, N. W., Washington, D. C. 20005.