Use of Inpatient Services by a National Population: Do Benefits Make a Difference?

Cathleen Patrick, Deborah K. Padgett, Barbara J. Burns, Herbert J. Schlesinger, Jacob Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study describes changes in the use of inpatient mental health services by children and adolescents under age 18. The data were insurance claims from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Federal Employees Program. The study focused on a cut in inpatient benefits that occurred between 1978 and 1983. The rate of inpatient hospitalization dropped significantly, and the average number of days also decreased significantly from 45.8 to 27.0 days. This study is among the first to demonstrate that the rate and amount of inpatient care provided for children and adolescents is responsive to variations in benefit coverage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)144-152
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1993


  • adolescent, mental hospitalization
  • child
  • insurance
  • mental health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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