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The Effect of Hospital Payment Methods on the Pattern and Cost of Mental Health Care
Agnes Rupp; Donald M. Steinwachs; David S. Salkever
Psychiatric Services 1984; doi:
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School of Hygiene and Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore; 624 North Broadway, Baltimore, Maryland 21205

School of Hygiene and Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore

School of Hygiene and Public Health

1984 by the American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

The authors report on a study of the impact of a prospective pay-ment method on hospital charges and mix of services provided to a group of Medicare patients treated for mental disorders in general acute care hospitals in Maryland. The study focused on per case reimbursement, under which hospitals are guaranteed a level of total revenue based on the number and case mix of discharges, and examined its effect on hospital charges during an index admission and on hospital and nonhospital charges over a three month period following the index admission. The results suggest that per case reimbursement provides incentives to reduce the cost of one hospital stay, but this cost reduction is possibly offset by a higher readmission rate or by higher readmission charges. The authors conclude that the impact of the per case payment method on the total cost of mental health care over a specific period of time is insignificant, but that the payment method may influence the pattern of care.

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