DOD's Management of Beneficiaries' Mental Health Care

T-HRD-91-30: Published: May 15, 1991. Publicly Released: May 15, 1991.

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GAO discussed how mental health benefits under the Department of Defense's (DOD) Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services (CHAMPUS) compared with those under private-sector and other governmental health plans, and DOD efforts to manage the mental health care provided to its beneficiaries. GAO noted that: (1) CHAMPUS mental health care benefits were more generous than those offered in private-sector and other government plans; (2) the CHAMPUS benefit package needs some additional modification to overcome an existing financial bias towards the provision of inpatient care; (3) CHAMPUS mental care benefits needed further DOD attention regarding improving its quality assurance program, reducing beneficiaries' incentives to use inpatient care, and designing alternatives to costly inpatient care; (4) DOD efforts to ensure that beneficiaries received high-quality mental health care were insufficient; and (5) DOD efforts to begin monitoring the quality of care, and its plans to employ independent quality reviews of mental health care services, should result in better assurance that the quality of care is sufficiently evaluated.

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