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Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine (IBME)

New Publication: Joelle Robertson-Preidler, Nikola Biller-Andorno published "Mental Health Care Funding Systems and their Impact on Access to Psychotherapy"

Joelle Robertson-PreidlerNikola Biller-Andorno and Tricia Johnson published "Mental Health Care Funding Systems and their Impact on Access to Psychotherapy"
in The Oxford Handbook of Psychotherapy Ethics, Edited by Manuel Trachsel, Jens Gaab, Nikola Biller-Andorno, Şerife Tekin, and John Z. Sadler

Online Publication Date: Nov 2020

Resource scarcity forces health care systems to set priorities and navigate trade-offs in how they choose to fund different services. Distributive justice principles can help guide health systems to fairly allocate scarce resources in a society. In most countries, mental health care and psychotherapy, in particular, tend to be under-prioritized even though psychotherapy can be an effective treatment for mental health disorders. To create ethical funding systems that support appropriate access to psychotherapy, health care funding systems must consider how they allocate and distribute health care resources through health care financing, coverage criteria, and reimbursement mechanisms. Five health care systems are assessed according to how they finance and reimburse psychotherapy. These health systems use various and often pluralistic approaches that encompass differing distributive justice principles. Although distribution priorities and values may differ, fair and transparent processes that involve all key stakeholders are vital for making ethical decisions on access and distribution.