Accession Number:

ADA440445

Title:

Expanding Access to Mental Health Counselors: Evaluation of the TRICARE Demonstration

Descriptive Note:

Monograph

Corporate Author:

RAND NATIONAL DEFENSE RESEARCH INST SANTA MONICA CA

Report Date:

2005-01-01

Pagination or Media Count:

162.0

Abstract:

The military health system serves roughly 9 million eligible beneficiaries, including active duty military personnel and their family members, retired military personnel and their family members, and surviving family members of deceased military personnel. Eligible beneficiaries access health care services through the TRICARE program. Mental health care, as well as other forms of health care under TRICARE, is delivered through the direct care system, which consists of military-owned treatment facilities clinics and hospitals, and the purchased-care system, which consists of coverage for care rendered in the civilian sector. TRICARE provides coverage for most medically necessary mental health care services, including those delivered in inpatient, outpatient, and partial hospitalization settings by qualified providers. In response to the National Defense Authorization Act NDAA for Fiscal Year 2001, the Department of Defense implemented a 1-year demonstration project designed to expand access to mental health services by easing TRICARE restrictions on services provided by licensed or certified mental health counselors LMHCs. Currently, LMHCs must meet several eligibility and administrative requirements to serve as authorized TRICARE providers, including documentation of referral and supervision from a physician. Under the demonstration project, LMHCs who met the TRICARE eligibility requirements were allowed to provide services to covered beneficiaries without referral by physicians or adherence to supervisory requirements. In the NDAA, Congress requested an evaluation of the demonstrations impact on utilization, costs, and patient outcomes. This report describes the evaluation efforts by the RAND Corporation and presents findings based on several sources of data. The report is organized according to specific responses to the evaluations objectives outlined in the FY01 NDAA and is intended to be included in the sponsors final report to Congress.

Subject Categories:

  • Psychology
  • Medicine and Medical Research
  • Military Forces and Organizations

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE