Vizient finds behavioral health Medicaid patients under-treated compared to commercially insured patients

May 16, 2024- Vizient, Inc. released a report showing Medicaid patients were less likely to receive the same treatment services for behavioral health as compared to commercially insured patients. While the prevalence of behavioral health conditions was roughly the same in both groups, treatment and emergency department visits among patients in each group varied. View Shining a light on disparities in mental health services.

The report, published by the Vizient Research Institute, examined claims data for 12 million covered lives across 14 states. It divided patients 0-34 into four cohorts by gender and adult status, across five diagnoses: adjustment, anxiety and personality, bipolar, persistent- and episodic-mood disorders.

For example, 14% of Medicaid-insured females 0-17 who were diagnosed with anxiety and personality disorders were treated with pharmaceuticals without psychotherapy, compared to 6% of commercially insured patients. For the same cohort, 66% of commercially insured patients were treated with psychotherapy with or without pharmaceuticals, whereas the same was true for only 50% of Medicaid-insured patients.

For males 18-34 diagnosed with persistent mood disorders, 24% of Medicaid patients received pharmaceuticals alone, whereas only 11% of commercially insured patients received just pharmaceuticals. For the same cohort, 67% of commercially insured patients received psychotherapy with or without pharmaceuticals, whereas 53% of Medicaid patients received psychotherapy alone.

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