State Variation in the Delivery of Comprehensive Services for Medicaid Beneficiaries with Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder

Publisher: Community Mental Health Journal, vol. 51, no. 5 (subscription required)
Jul 30, 2015
Jonathan D. Brown, Allison Barrett, Kerianne Hourihan, Emily Caffery, and Henry T. Ireys

Medicaid beneficiaries with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder require a range of services and supports. This descriptive study used 2007 Medicaid claims data from 21 states and the District of Columbia to examine the extent to which this population received guideline-concordant medications, medication monitoring, outpatient mental health care, and preventive physical health care. More than 80 % of beneficiaries in each state filled at least one prescription for a guideline-concordant medication during the year but, on average, only 57 % of those with schizophrenia and 45 % of those with bipolar disorder maintained a continuous supply of medications. Roughly 25 % did not have an outpatient mental health visit during the year (excluding case management and some other services); in some states more than half did not have such a visit. Only 11 % of beneficiaries received a physical health examination or health behavior counseling when claims codes were used to identify these services rather than all primary care physician visits. Less than 5 % of beneficiaries maintained their supply of medications, received medication monitoring and had an outpatient mental health visit, physical health examination or received health behavior counseling during the year. Although these rates of service utilization are likely conservative and the data predate recent efforts to integrate care, the findings underscore the need for quality improvement efforts targeted to this population and may provide a baseline for monitoring progress.