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Psychology and Medical Rehabilitation: Moving Toward a Consumer-Driven Health Care System

Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings
Publication Date
  • Law
  • Psychology


Changes in health care will provide both opportunities and threats for rehabilitation psychologists. We must demonstrate the relevance of our clinical services to important outcomes or risk being excluded as treatment providers. With shifts to nonhospital settings, we can provide increasing clinical and administrative leadership. However, we must redefine models of treatment to include home care and “telepsychology,” practice guidelines and critical paths, involvement of paraprofessionals, case management, injury prevention, and health promotion. We should be involved when datasets are established to define disability-related health policies and reimbursement and be proactive in Medicare, Medicaid, and managed care reform to develop treatment packages to decrease long-term handicap. Collaboration with consumers is critical. We must frame research questions to address current policy issues. Our skills can help improve the effectiveness of human behavior, whether it be patients with illness, consumers with disability, health care providers, health systems managers, or legislators.

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