CHA News Article

Report Examines Causes and Solutions of Psychiatric Program Shortage

A new report from the National Council for Behavioral Health seeks to address causes of and solutions to the growing shortage of outpatient and inpatient psychiatric programs. As demand increases, access to these services has diminished, causing a crisis throughout the U.S. health care system. According to the report — which is based on findings from a two-day expert panel of clinicians, policymakers, payers and advocates — this shortage of psychiatrists will only worsen as primary care and behavioral health are integrated under health care reform. To account for increased strain on psychiatric services, the report notes that solutions should address workforce development, improved efficiency of service delivery, reduction of burdensome regulations and confidentiality restrictions, broader implementation of innovative models and adoption of methods that provide adequate reimbursement for psychiatric services. The report also provides recommendations specific to federal and state governments, payers, providers, provider trade associations and advocates.