D. Russell Crane, PhD, is the Director of the Comprehensive Clinic, and Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy in the School of Family Life, Brigham Young University; Scott H. Payne, MS, is a doctoral student in the Marriage, Family, Human Development program, School of Family Life, Brigham Young University.
Individual Versus Family Psychotherapy in Managed Care: Comparing the Costs of Treatment by the Mental Health Professions
Version of Record online: 19 NOV 2009
© 2011 American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
Journal of Marital and Family Therapy
Volume 37, Issue 3, pages 273–289, July 2011
How to Cite
Russell Crane, D. and Payne, S. H. (2011), Individual Versus Family Psychotherapy in Managed Care: Comparing the Costs of Treatment by the Mental Health Professions. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 37: 273–289. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-0606.2009.00170.x
The authors would like to express appreciation to our collaborators who made this project possible: Jodi Aronson Prohofsky, PhD, LMFT, Senior Vice President of Operations, CIGNA; Anthony G. Massey, MD, MBA, Senior Medical Director, CIGNA; and David Bergman, JD, Former Director of Legal and Government Affairs at AAMFT, now VP of Legal and External Affairs and Chief Legal Officer, National Board for Certified Counselors. Support from the Family Studies Center, School of Family Life, Brigham Young University is gratefully acknowledged. A portion of these findings were presented at the combined 6th Congress of the European Family Association and 32nd Association for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice UK Conference, October 5, 2007, Glasgow, Scotland.
- Issue online: 19 NOV 2009
- Version of Record online: 19 NOV 2009
In an effort to understand how psychotherapy is practiced in the “real world,” outpatient claims data were examined to determine the cost of individual and family therapy provided by marital and family therapists, master’s nurses, master’s social workers, medical doctors, psychologists, or professional counselors. Claims for 490,000 unique persons over 4 years were obtained from CIGNA. Family therapy proved to be substantially more cost-effective than individual or “mixed” psychotherapy. Physicians provided care in the fewest sessions, marital and family therapists had the highest success (86.6%) and lowest recidivism rates (13.4%), and professional counselors were the least costly. Outcomes were overwhelmingly successful, with 85% of patients requiring only one episode of care.