The Shift to Fee-for-Service: Neoliberalism and Behavioral Health Services

  • Zakia Clay Rutgers University
Keywords: neoliberalism, person-centered care, fee-for-service, behavioral health, policy


The rise of neoliberalism has influenced both policy and practice. With an emphasis on the economic market, performance, and efficiency, practitioners must re-examine their role and ethical responsibility to the individual receiving services. The aim of this reflection is to examine the role of fee-for-service in behavioral health and the unintended consequences that occur on the frontlines as practitioners negotiate the need to meet regulatory standards that are, at times, in conflict with providing person-centered care. The author concludes by emphasizing the need for more research on policy implementation and highlights the importance of cultivating a supportive environment while simultaneously advocating for policies that both empower service recipients and allow for service flexibility.