Depression is a common and very serious condition in the United States that affects how a person feels, thinks, and functions with routine activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working. Depression and other serious mental disorders are among the qualifying conditions for disability coverage through the Social Security Administration, upon which eligibility for Medicare coverage for persons under age 65 is based.
Patients with depression and other mental health disorders experience barriers to care, such as provider shortages, stigma attached to psychiatric diagnoses, and lack of transportation. This report describes barriers in accessing care among Medicare beneficiaries with and without depression.
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