Harvard Mental Health Letter

In Brief: Medicaid analysis reveals trends in depression care

An analysis of Florida health insurance data revealed trends in the delivery of depression care. Overall spending increased mainly because of a marked rise in spending on drugs, especially — in a surprise — because of spending on antipsychotics.

Harvard University researchers examined health insurance claims data for 56,805 people enrolled in Medicaid, a government program that covers low-income and disabled Americans. All participants were ages 18 to 64 and had received care for depression between July 1, 1996, and June 30, 2006. The cohort included people who were hospitalized for depression at least once, or received outpatient care at least twice, during the study period.

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