Age-Related Variation in Health Service Use and Associated Expenditures Among Children with Autism
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This study examined differences by age in service use and associated expenditures during 2005 for Medicaid-enrolled children with autism spectrum disorders. Aging was associated with significantly higher use and costs for restrictive, institution-based care and lower use and costs for community-based therapeutic services. Total expenditures increased by 5 % with each year of age; by 23 % between 3–5 and 6–11 year olds, 23 % between 6–11 and 12–16, and 14 % between 12–16 and 17–20 year olds. Use of and expenditures for long-term care, psychiatric medications, case management, medication management, day treatment/partial hospitalization, and respite services increased with age; use of and expenditures for occupational/physical therapy, speech therapy, mental health services, diagnostic/assessment services, and family therapy declined.