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Article   |    
Patterns of Utilization of Outpatient Mental Health Services by Children and Adolescents
George M. Realmuto; Gail A. Bernstein; Marshall A. Maglothin; Rama S. Pandey
Psychiatric Services 1992; doi:
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This work was partly supported by the Wisniewski fellowship of the Office of Mental Retardation of the State of New York. The authors thank Lois Laitinen for help in preparing the manuscript.

Box 95, University of Minnesota Hospital and Clinic, Harvard Street at East River Road, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455

University of Minnesota School of Public Health

University of Minnesota School of Social Work

1992 by the American Psychiatric Association

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Although as many as one-fifth of children and adolescents may meet DSM-III criteria for at least one psychiatric diagnosis, data from the Minnesota Department of Human Services for 1988 show that only 20 to 38 percent of children and adolescents in the state who are eligible for medical assistance and who are potentially in need of psychiatric care are referred for or seek treatment. A study of publicly funded mental health care for youths under 18 found that in 1988 the average cost for state-supported psychiatric services per outpatient case was $520, compared with $8,556 per inpatient case. However, overall cost of state-supported mental health services for youths under 18 increased by 28 percent between 1987 and 1988, primarily due to increases in payments for inpatient care of patients with dual diagnoses of mental illness and chemical dependency.

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