Effects of managed care on programs and practices for the treatment of alcohol and drug dependence.

S. Steenrod, A. Brisson, Dennis McCarty, D. Hodgkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Scopus citations


Managed care is affecting the organization and financing of treatment services for alcohol and drug dependence. This paper examines the effects of managed care on program operations including the use of clinical protocols, the administrative burden, information systems, staffing, and program consolidation. It also reviews the effects of managed care on system performance related to employer-sponsored health plans, state employee health plans, and Medicaid and other public plans. Our review of managed care's influences on the alcohol and drug abuse treatment system finds evidence of systemic reductions in access to inpatient care and increased reliance on outpatient services. Moreover, although analyses of behavioral health carve-outs often suggest increases in the use of outpatient care, evaluations of substance abuse claims report reductions in ambulatory utilization for the treatment of alcohol and drug dependence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-71
Number of pages21
JournalRecent developments in alcoholism : an official publication of the American Medical Society on Alcoholism, the Research Society on Alcoholism, and the National Council on Alcoholism
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


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