Defense Health Programs:

Changes in Administration of Mental Health Benefits

HRD-86-98FS: Published: Jun 12, 1986. Publicly Released: Jun 12, 1986.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

In response to a congress request, GAO reported on the mental health care program under the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services (CHAMPUS), specifically: (1) the 60-day per year limit on inpatient psychiatric care; and (2) recent revisions to the administrative controls of some of the CHAMPUS mental health benefits.

GAO found that: (1) for 1983, the year the limitation was in effect, CHAMPUS estimated savings of $34.2 million; (2) CHAMPUS has authority to grant waivers to the 60-day limit and, between January 1983 and December 1985, approved about 24 percent of the waiver requests; (3) according to CHAMPUS officials, the 60-day limit caused a shift from inpatient hospital care to alternative mental health treatment options to which the limit does not apply, such as residential treatment centers; (4) the categories of mental health care providers authorized to bill CHAMPUS independent of physician referral increased; (5) CHAMPUS developed a policy to limit its payments for residential treatment center care which will provide long-term control over cost escalation; and (6) under a demonstration project, CHAMPUS recently awarded a competitively bid contract for providing mental health services in a high-utilization area.

Sep 17, 2020

Sep 16, 2020

Sep 14, 2020

Aug 31, 2020

Aug 7, 2020

Aug 6, 2020

Aug 4, 2020

Jul 31, 2020

Jul 29, 2020

Looking for more? Browse all our products here