Referral Gridlock: Primary Care Physicians and Mental Health Services

June 2003
Journal of General Internal Medicine , Vol. 18, Issue 6, Page 442 (June 2003)
Sally Trude, Jeffrey Stoddard

Patients’ barriers to mental health services are well documented and include social stigma, lack of adequate insurance coverage and underdiagnosis by primary care physicians. Little is known, however, about challenges primary care physicians face arranging mental health referrals and hospitalizations. Primary care physicians face greater hurdles obtaining mental health services than other medical services. Primary care is an important entry point for mental health services, yet inadequate referral systems between medical and mental health services may be hampering access.

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