Nav: Home

Health insurance changes, access to care by patients' mental health status

September 06, 2017

A research letter published by JAMA Psychiatry examined access to care before the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and after the ACA for patients grouped by mental health status using a scale to assess mental illness in epidemiologic studies.

The ACA expanded health insurance to millions of Americans through insurance reforms, Medicaid expansions and subsidies for coverage in the marketplace. The ACA also expanded mental health coverage through mental health parity reforms and through the provision of essential health benefits, which included mental health services.

The study by Elizabeth Sherrill, B.S., and Gilbert Gonzales, Ph.D., M.H.A., of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, builds on previous research and examines changes in access to care for adults by mental health status using data from a national sample.

The final sample included 77,095 adults and they were classified according to a scale as having moderate mental illness, severe mental illness or no mental illness.

The research letter suggests adults with severe mental illness were more likely to be unemployed, have low income and have poor or fair health. The authors found:
  • A decrease in uninsured adults with no mental illness and moderate and severe mental illness.

  • A decrease in having no usual source of care, delayed medical care, forgone medical care and forgone prescription medications for adults with moderate mental illness.

  • A decrease in forgone prescription medications and forgone mental health care for adults with severe mental illness.

The research letter notes limitations, including study design and other potential mitigating factors. The authors suggest that not finding improvement in some areas for adults with severe mental illness could be attributable to factors not fully addressed by the ACA.

"Access to care has improved for adult with MMI [moderate mental illness] and SMI [severe mental illness]. Of importance, forgone mental health care decreased significantly for individuals with SMI. However, gaps in access persist," the research letter concludes.
-end-
For more details and to read the full study, please visit the For The Media website.

(doi:10.1001/ jamapsychiatry.2017.2697)

Editor's Note: Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

To place an electronic embedded link to this study in your story Link will be live at the embargo time: http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/fullarticle/10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2017.2697

The JAMA Network Journals

Related Mental Illness Articles:

Young migrants at risk of mental illness
Experience of trauma, abuse and poverty puts the mental health of many young refugees at risk.
Chronic illness in childhood linked to higher rates of mental illness
Children with long-term health conditions may be more likely to experience mental illness in early adolescence than healthy children, according to new research from Queen Mary University of London.
Did 'Joker' movie perpetuate prejudices against those with mental illness?
Researchers in this survey study examined whether watching the 2019 movie 'Joker,' in which the namesake character is violent and has mental illness, was associated with a change in the level of prejudice toward people with mental illness compared with others who watched another movie.
Skills training opens 'DOORS' to digital mental health for patients with serious mental illness
Digital technologies, especially smartphone apps, have great promise for increasing access to care for patients with serious mental illness such as schizophrenia.
Using voice analysis to track the wellness of patients with mental illness
A new study finds that an interactive voice application using artificial intelligence is as accurate at tracking the wellbeing of patients being treated for serious mental illness as their own physicians.
Research calls for new measures to treat mental illness and opioid use
Opioid use among psychiatric hospital patients needs to be addressed through an integrated approach to managing mental illness, pain and substance use, a study by researchers at the University of Waterloo has found.
Researchers challenge myth of the relationship between mental illness and incarceration
Researchers examined the relationship between psychiatric diagnoses and future incarceration by merging data from psychiatric interviews that took place in the 1980s with 30 years of follow-up data.
New research raises important questions on how mental illness is currently diagnosed
This research raises questions as to whether current diagnoses accurately reflect the underlying neurobiology of mental illness.
Young teens of color more likely to avoid peers with mental illness
Students identifying as black or Latino are more likely to say they would socially distance themselves from peers with a mental illness, a key indicator of mental illness stigma, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.
Hair could be the key to better mental-illness diagnosis in teens
It's possible that a lock of hair could one day aid in the diagnosis of depression and in efforts to monitor the effects of treatment, said the author of a new study examining cortisol levels in the hair of teens.
More Mental Illness News and Mental Illness Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Making Amends
What makes a true apology? What does it mean to make amends for past mistakes? This hour, TED speakers explore how repairing the wrongs of the past is the first step toward healing for the future. Guests include historian and preservationist Brent Leggs, law professor Martha Minow, librarian Dawn Wacek, and playwright V (formerly Eve Ensler).
Now Playing: Science for the People

#565 The Great Wide Indoors
We're all spending a bit more time indoors this summer than we probably figured. But did you ever stop to think about why the places we live and work as designed the way they are? And how they could be designed better? We're talking with Emily Anthes about her new book "The Great Indoors: The Surprising Science of how Buildings Shape our Behavior, Health and Happiness".
Now Playing: Radiolab

The Third. A TED Talk.
Jad gives a TED talk about his life as a journalist and how Radiolab has evolved over the years. Here's how TED described it:How do you end a story? Host of Radiolab Jad Abumrad tells how his search for an answer led him home to the mountains of Tennessee, where he met an unexpected teacher: Dolly Parton.Jad Nicholas Abumrad is a Lebanese-American radio host, composer and producer. He is the founder of the syndicated public radio program Radiolab, which is broadcast on over 600 radio stations nationwide and is downloaded more than 120 million times a year as a podcast. He also created More Perfect, a podcast that tells the stories behind the Supreme Court's most famous decisions. And most recently, Dolly Parton's America, a nine-episode podcast exploring the life and times of the iconic country music star. Abumrad has received three Peabody Awards and was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2011.