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Private Regulation in Mental Health: The JCAH and Psychologists in Hospitals

Thomas G. McGuire and Sylvia F. Moore
Law and Human Behavior
Vol. 7, No. 2/3, Professional Regulation (Sep., 1983), pp. 235-249
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1393544
Page Count: 15
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Private Regulation in Mental Health: The JCAH and Psychologists in Hospitals
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Abstract

General hospitals are increasingly important sources of care for chronic and acute mental patients. Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals (JCAH) standards for staffing in general hospitals require the same degree of physician supervision and control for all services, including mental health. This paper considers the economic impact of JCAH standards on the practice of psychologists in hospitals. The "voluntariness" of the standards is assessed and the evidence that these standards foster economic protectionism is considered. We conclude that in light of the demonstrated capability of nonphysician professionals, methods of quality control appropriate for physician health care in general hospitals should be reconsidered as these instutions diversify into mental health services.

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