Does consideration of medicare use affect VA evaluations of treatment for new episodes of depression?

John F. McCarthy, Kara Zivin, Karen L. Austin, Helen C. Kales, Marcia Valenstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

This report evaluates whether consideration of out-of-system use affects Veterans Affairs (VA) health system assessments of depression treatment. We measured effective medication management and optimal practitioner contacts among veterans whose VA data indicated a new episode of depression. Among 3,567 VA patients who were Medicare age-eligible, VA data indicated that 69% received recommended antidepressant coverage and 9% received recommended practitioner contacts. After including Medicare data, 295 patients (8%) no longer met inclusion criteria. Among the remainder, 3% received Medicare depression treatment and 0.5% were re-classified as having recommended contacts. Medicare use does not substantially supplement VA depression treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)468-476
Number of pages9
JournalAdministration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research
Volume35
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2008
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Medicare
  • Mental health
  • Quality of care
  • VA health care system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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