The role of general hospitals in the privatization of inpatient treatment for serious mental illness

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry

Publication Date


Document Type



Community Mental Health Services; Hospitals, General; Humans; Medicaid; Medical Indigency; Mental Disorders; Patient Care Team; Privatization; Psychiatric Department, Hospital; Referral and Consultation; Schizophrenia; Schizophrenic Psychology; United States


Health Services Research | Mental and Social Health | Psychiatric and Mental Health | Psychiatry | Psychiatry and Psychology


For almost three decades, many have regarded general hospital psychiatric units as the most appropriate setting for acute treatment of persons with serious mental illness who were once treated mostly in state hospitals. The extent to which this transfer has taken place and the differences between public and private general hospitals have been unclear. Using data from the 1988 National Mental Health Facilities Study and published data from the 1970s, the authors found that nearly half of all general hospitals providing psychiatric services treat persons with serious mental illness. Significant differences in case and payer mix were observed between public and private general hospitals, although these differences were smaller than in the 1970s. The findings suggest increased involvement by private general hospitals in treating patients reimbursed by public payers, but the findings also indicate that persons with serious mental illness and those using Medicaid are still more prevalent in public general hospitals than in private ones.


Hosp Community Psychiatry. 1992 Nov;43(11):1114-9.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Hospital and community psychiatry

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID