Trends in Medicare Part B mental health utilization and expenditures: 1987-92.
Rosenbach, Margo L
Date of Pub
Ammering, Carol J
This article examines the impact of expanding Medicare Part B coverage of mental health services, based on analysis of 6 years
of Medicare Part B claims data (1987-92). Inflation-adjusted per capita spending more than doubled (from $9.91 to $21.63)
following the elimination of the annual outpatient treatment limit and extension of direct reimbursement to clinical psychologists
and social workers. There was a 73-percent increase in the user rate (from 23.25 to 40.20 per 1,000 Medicare beneficiaries),
and a 27-percent increase in the average number of services per user (from 8.9 to 11.3). Mental health spending increased
from 1 percent to 2 percent of expenditures for Part B professional services. Ongoing monitoring of mental health utilization
is desirable to ensure that recent access gains are not eroded with the increasing shift to managed care and implementation
of gatekeeper mechanisms.
Ambulatory Care/economics : Health Expenditures/statistics & numerical data/trends : Human : Medicare Part B/statistics &
numerical data/utilization : Mental Disorders/classification/therapy : Mental Health Services/economics/statistics & numerical
data/trends : Reimbursement Mechanisms : Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S. : United States