Thursday, January 8, 2009

Higher Co-Pays Keep Seniors From Seeking Mental Health Care

A study published recently in The Journal of the American Medical Association, which analyzed the records of 43,892 Medicare beneficiaries who had been hospitalized for a mental illness between 2001 and 2006, indicates that seniors who were hospitalized for a psychiatric illness were less likely to get recommended follow-up care if their Medicare plans required that they pay more for mental health care than for other medical care. The study found "that these co-payments act as a pretty potent barrier to getting appropriate care,” said Dr. Amal N. Trivedi, assistant professor of community health at the Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University and an author of the study. “We have solid evidence that people who get appropriate care after leaving the hospital are less likely to be readmitted to the hospital and have better mental health outcomes,” he said. Read more.

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