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Mental Health Care Consumption and Outcomes: Considering Preventative Strategies Across Race and Class

25 Pages Posted: 23 Jan 2012  

Barak D. Richman

Duke University - School of Law

Dan Grossman

Duke University Medical Center

Frank A. Sloan

Duke University - Center for Health Policy, Law and Management; Duke University, Fuqua School of Business-Economics Group; Duke University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Craig Chepke

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: January 20, 2012

Abstract

In previous work (Richman 2007), we found that even under conditions of equal insurance coverage and access to mental healthcare providers, whites and high-income individuals consume more outpatient mental health services than nonwhites and low-income individuals. We follow-up that study to determine (1) whether nonwhite and low-income individuals obtain medical substitutes to mental healthcare, and (2) whether disparate consumption leads to disparate health outcomes. We find that nonwhites and low-income individuals are more likely than their white and high-income counterparts to obtain mental health care from general practitioners over mental healthcare providers, and nearly twice as likely not to follow up with a mental health provider after hospitalization with a mental health diagnosis. We further are unable to find any evidence that this leads to adverse health outcomes. These findings echo concern expressed in Richman (2007) that low-income and nonwhite individuals might be paying for health services that primarily benefit their white and more affluent coworkers.

Suggested Citation

Richman, Barak D. and Grossman, Dan and Sloan, Frank A. and Chepke, Craig, Mental Health Care Consumption and Outcomes: Considering Preventative Strategies Across Race and Class (January 20, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1989038 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1989038

Barak D. Richman (Contact Author)

Duke University - School of Law ( email )

210 Science Drive
Box 90362
Durham, NC 27708
United States
919-613-7244 (Phone)
919-613-7231 (Fax)

Dan Grossman

Duke University Medical Center ( email )

Durham, NC 27715
United States

Frank A. Sloan

Duke University - Center for Health Policy, Law and Management ( email )

Box 90253
Durham, NC 27708
United States
919-684-8047 (Phone)
919-684-6246 (Fax)

Duke University, Fuqua School of Business-Economics Group ( email )

Box 90097
Durham, NC 27708-0097
United States

Duke University - Department of Economics ( email )

213 Social Sciences Building
Box 90097
Durham, NC 27708-0204
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Craig Chepke

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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