Medicaid Policy Changes in Mental Health Care and Their Effect on Mental Health Outcomes

37 Pages Posted: 25 May 2006 Last revised: 5 Jun 2021

See all articles by Alison Cuellar

Alison Cuellar

Columbia University - Department of Health Policy and Management

Sara Markowitz

Emory University; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: May 2006

Abstract

In recent years, Medicaid has experienced a dramatic increase in spending on prescription drugs in general and psychotropic medications in particular. The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of increased Medicaid spending on psychotropic drugs on improving the mental health and well-being of participants at the population level. Specifically, we study the effect on outcomes that are strongly correlated with mood disorders, including depression, and Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity disorder, controlling for concomitant increases in Medicaid eligibility thresholds and expansion into managed care for mental health services. Knowledge of the effects of changes in the Medicaid program is crucial to policymakers as they consider implementing and expanding mental health services. Our results show that increased spending on antidepressants and stimulants are associated with improvements in some outcomes, but not in others.

Suggested Citation

Evans Cuellar, Alison and Markowitz, Sara, Medicaid Policy Changes in Mental Health Care and Their Effect on Mental Health Outcomes (May 2006). NBER Working Paper No. w12232, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=902584

Alison Evans Cuellar

Columbia University - Department of Health Policy and Management ( email )

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New York, NY 10032
United States

Sara Markowitz (Contact Author)

Emory University ( email )

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Atlanta, GA 30322
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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New York, NY 10016-4309
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