Patterns of Outpatient Use of Mental Health Services for Medicaid Beneficiaries Under a Prepaid Mental Health Carve-Out

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Abstract

This study examines the impact of a mental health carve-out, the Utah Prepaid Mental Health Plan (UPMHP), on use of outpatient mental health services by Medicaid beneficiaries with schizophrenia. Data were collected through interviews with the same group of Medicaid schizophrenic beneficiaries. A pre/post comparison with a contemporaneous control group examined the impact of the program on type of outpatient services used by beneficiaries. The results indicate a greater reliance on medically-oriented outpatient mental health services in treatment of beneficiaries under the UPMHP. Medicaid beneficiaries with schizophrenia in the UPMHP group received relatively fewer day treatment visits, but relatively more medication visits and individual therapy visits over the first 3 \(\frac{1}{2}\) years of the program.