Community mental health program efficiency

Bentson H. McFarland, Douglas A. Bigelow, Jay Smith, Ala Mofidi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Six urban community mental health centers participated in a capitated payment system designed for persons with severe mental illness who frequently used the state hospital. The centers and their funding agency agreed that a chief outcome measure would be the length of time clients were able to remain enrolled in the outpatient program. Clients of the six agencies were quite similar to one another. During the 18-month study length of enrollment in the outpatient program did not vary among the agencies whereas agency expenditures varied by more than three-fold. Although some of this expenditure variation was due to economies of scale at larger agencies, different practice styles also contributed to variable efficiency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)459-474
Number of pages16
JournalAdministration and Policy in Mental Health
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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