- Hardcover: 294 pages
- Publisher: St Martins Pr; 1st edition (April 1994)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0312104219
- ISBN-13: 978-0312104214
- Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,489,118 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Bedlam: Greed, Profiteering, and Fraud in a Mental Health System Gone Crazy Hardcover – April, 1994
From Publishers Weekly
In this powerful, scathing indictment, Sharkey ( Above Suspicion ) exposes profound venality and criminally actionable practices in today's psychiatric industry. He ascribes soaring medical health costs (more than $125 billion in 1991) to a conspiracy involving the biopsychiatric profession, for-profit mental and addiction facilities, drug and insurance companies. He further charges that many in the psychiatric profession have abandoned the severely mentally ill while private, investor-owned hospitals offer bounties of up to $1500 to clergy, teachers, police and "crisis counselors" for recruiting--one Texas legislator uses the term "body-snatching"--troubled adults, adolescents and children covered by insurance policies that pay up to $30,000 for inpatient care. In 1993, the fraud practiced by Medicare- and Medicaid-subsidized hospital chains such as National Medical Enterprises, with 86 psychiatric hospitals and revenues of $1.74 billion in 1991, was revealed by the FBI. The psychiatric industry, Sharkey warns in this chilling, well-documented account, is lobbying for a large slice of the health reform pie and continues to "create mental illness with advertising."
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Journalist Sharkey (Above Suspicion, LJ 12/93) focuses on the abuses that developed in some large for-profit mental health hospital corporations throughout the 1980s. As an increasing number of health insurance providers began covering costs for in-hospital mental health treatment, some corporations exploited this coverage by basing admission and discharge decisions solely on insurance. Some hospitals used questionable or totally unethical marketing practices, going so far as to pay bounties to clergy, school personnel, and family counselors for referrals. A few of these corporations went bankrupt as legislatures and insurance agencies tightened control, but most continue to operate. Healthcare reform remains a hot topic, and Sharkey adds a piece to a much larger puzzle of what needs fixing in the healthcare field. For most public libraries.
Marguerite Mroz, Baltimore Cty. P.L.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
In my own book, Enhancing Police Response to Persons in Mental Health Crisis, Charles C. Thomas, Publisher, 2003, I give some additional detail about the background of Sector One and the alleged kidnappers and ability in those days of civilians to execute mental health emergency detention warrants.
If he were to write a sequel or second edition Sharkey might note that quite rightly (at least in my view) all charges against the so-called "bad guys" were ultimately reduced to misdemeanor status.
Mr. Sharkey's account is well-told; his word-smithing skills unparalleled.
He observes that "The psychiatry industry is working hard to expand and mandate insurance coverage to pay for biopsychiatry's new frontier. In 1990, for example, California became the first state to define mental illnesses as medical diseases and require that any health-insurance policy covering physical diseases of the brain also offer the same level of coverage for 'schizophrenia, schizo-affective disorders, bipolar and delusional depressions and development disorder.'" (Pg. 17)
He wrote, "In 1984... there were 220 for-profit psychiatric hospitals in the United States. Four years later, as insurance money flooded into the recovery treatment and psychiatrists devised new therapies based on ... greatly expanding diagnostic definitions of what constitutes mental disorder... the number of private psychiatric hospitals had more than doubled." (Pg. 11) He suggests, "Pure economics explains the psychiatric hospitals' inordinate interest in children. The profit margin for a psychiatric bed occupied by an adult is 20 percent.Read more ›
But why then only three stars? Well, there's a significant problem with the book: Sharkey, not being an economist, by and large misdiagnoses the causes for these crimes, attributing them to free-market forces, de-regulation, and 'the profit motive'. But as recent events in 2008 and 2009 with the housing crisis show, booms in one area of the economy are often caused by government subsidies and funding, either directly, as in housing by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and their subsidies of low-interest mortgages, or indirectly, by the Federal Reserve pumping up the economy with it's low interest rates, with huge amounts of this increased money supply subsequently flowing to the housing sector. The same process, incidentally, is happening in education, with government subsidies and grants having caused in the last twenty years huge increases in college tuitions. (What often also occurs with this gargantuan, governmental funneling of money is increased corruption within that sector of the economy.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is an excellent book, full of facts and reads like a thriller. Shame on the Mental Health "industry. Read morePublished 22 months ago by A Weinholtz
Arrived promptly and was in the same condition as it was decribed to be. Hard to find book. Glad I found it here.Published on December 10, 2011 by AKMo
The focus of this book is on how corporate, for profit, mental hospitals put aside all ethical concerns and took advantage of distressed people that sought mental health, addiction... Read morePublished on June 6, 2003 by Richard Brzostek