BusinessHealth ReformPolicy & Law

What Mental Health Parity Has Wrought

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Psychiatrists now practice like primary care physicians: short meetings and a prescription pad:

Dr. Levin, 68, first established a private practice in 1972, when talk therapy was in its heyday… Then, like many psychiatrists, he treated 50 to 60 patients in once- or twice-weekly talk-therapy sessions of 45 minutes each. Now, like many of his peers, he treats 1,200 people in mostly 15-minute visits for prescription adjustments that are sometimes months apart. Then, he knew his patients’ inner lives better than he knew his wife’s; now, he often cannot remember their names. Then, his goal was to help his patients become happy and fulfilled; now, it is just to keep them functional.

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