This episode of Psych Matters discusses the Australian psychiatric healthcare implications of the advent of Managed Care in Private Health Insurance with the recent emergence of a private company that can selectively contract with healthcare providers on behalf of insurers. The basic characteristics of managed care: selective contracting, financial incentives for performance and utilisation management present significant challenges for psychiatric care in Australia, especially in the context of the failures of managed care in the United States where it originated.
Professor Jeffrey Looi and Dr William Pring present the healthcare policy background and discuss the clinical implications of managed care.
Associate Professor Jeffrey Looi, MBBS Syd, MD ANU, DMedSc Melb, FRANZCP, AFRACMA, is a clinical academic neuropsychiatrist, in private and public practice, and Head of the Academic Unit of Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine at the Australian National University Medical School. Jeffrey leads the Australian, United States, Scandinavian-Spanish Imaging Exchange (AUSSIE) and the Consortium of Australian-Academic Psychiatrists for Independent Policy and Research Analysis (CAPIPRA). He has received multiple research and leadership awards including: a Fulbright Scholarship and Australian-Davos-Connection Future Summit Leadership Award. He is an co-author on more than 195 peer-reviewed papers, including research at the UCLA Medical School, Karolinska Institute and University of Melbourne.
Dr Bill Pring is a general psychiatrist who works predominantly in private practice, but was also been involved in consultation–liaison (Psychosomatics) psychiatry in the public sector for twenty–four years.
Bill served on the Victorian Branch of The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) including as Branch General Councillor. Within the Australian Medical Association (AMA), Bill has served as Psychiatry Craft Group Representative on the AMA Federal Council and was the Chair of the Federal AMA Public Health and Aged Care Committee, and an AMA Observer on Private Mental Health Alliance (PMHA).
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