Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology

, Volume 30, Issue 5, pp 224–230 | Cite as

Depressive disorders: treatment patterns and costs of treatment in the private sector of the United States

  • Teh-Wei Hu
  • A. J. Rush
Original Paper


The purpose of this paper is to examine the treatment patterns and costs of treatment for depressive disorders in the private sector of the United States. Based on the 1987–1989 calendar year MEDSTAT claim data, 40,898 patients were identified with a principal diagnosis of depressive disorder. Among a list of CPT-4 code procedures, individual psychotherapy had the highest frequency of usage followed by individual visits. Compared to individual psychotherapy, group/family psychotherapy had a much lower frequency of usage. Very few diagnostic episodes had laboratory work. In inpatient settings, costs of physician procedures and laboratory services were 2 times greater for patients with major depression or bipolar disorder than for patients with depression not otherwise specified (NOS) or dysthymic disorder. As expected, costs varied widely per episode. As the severity of illness increased, the cost variation became wider.


Private Sector Bipolar Disorder Depressive Disorder Major Depression Cost Variation 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Teh-Wei Hu
    • 1
  • A. J. Rush
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Public HealthUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA
  2. 2.Southwestern Medical CenterUniversity of TexasUSA

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