Eavesdropping on the 50‐minute hour: Managed mental health care and confidentiality

Kevin Corcoran, William J. Winslade

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


This article discusses managed care, recent case law developments, and the legal basis of confidentiality in the patient‐therapist relationship. It discusses how managed care intrudes into the confidential treatment relationship with prospective and retrospective utilization reviews. Some of the areas adversely impacted include public policy, the patient‐therapist relationship, and informed consent. In order to be a program in the interest of patients and not simply cost containment, managed care must accommodate patients' reasonable expectations of confidentiality. Suggestions are delineated for the protection of confidentiality by managed care, including expanding the duty of confidentiality to managed care, obligating managed care to secure patients' informational privacy, obtaining informed consent to disclose as little information as necessary, and involving the patient in the cost containment and quality assurance process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)351-365
Number of pages15
JournalBehavioral Sciences & the Law
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Law


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