An individual seeking psycho-therapy services for a mental health disorder has 60-70 percent chance of receiving services from a master’s level clinical social worker. Despite their lower status, clinical social workers make up 60 to 70 percent of the mental health workforce (Ivey et al, 1998; Clinical Social Work Society of Delaware; Testimony of the National Association of Social Workers Washington, DC Submitted to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, September 26, 2001). This analysis examines the effects of managed behavioral health care on social work mental health practice. It begins with a synopsis on the historical background of the social work profession, its domain and market position within the mental health field before the advent of managed care organizations. Analysis includes the effects of managed behavioral health care on clinical social workers’ labor market in the mental health field, their scope of practice, reimbursement rates on services provided by clinical social workers. In analyzing the price of social work services, it becomes imperative to deliberate on the following question: Is the social work market-share gain merely determined by the price of their services? How is the quality of social work services in the treatment of mental health? Analysis also includes the effects of managed behavioral health care on the traditional values and philosophical practices of social work and the ethical dilemmas resulting from the advent of managed care. The discussion concludes with some recommendation on the future of social work.
"The effects of Managed Care on Social Work Mental Health Practice,"
SPNA Review: Vol. 4
, Article 6.
Available at: http://scholarworks.gvsu.edu/spnareview/vol4/iss1/6