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Protecting the Public Interest: Issues in Contracting Managed Behavioral Health

Author: JULIA E. ROBINSON and THOMAS CLAY
Published in JHHSA, Vol. 25 No. 4

In recent years, state governments have begun contracting out beha-
vioral health care to large managed case for-profit organizations. This
approach to mental health service delivery has resulted in realignment
in roles for both state agencies and the managed care organizations.
Overnight state agencies have been transformed into contract managers
of multi-million dollar capitated health plans, Management care com-
panies, in turn, moving into the public-sector market must adjust their
service delivery to include key concepts of public interest involvement
such as consumer input, public comment, and outreach. This article
analyzes three public-sector transitions. Common issues in these trans-
formations are used as a springboard for identifying key concerns
which states need to monitor when developing managed care contracts.

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