Impact of Comprehensive Insurance Parity on Follow-Up Care After Psychiatric Inpatient Treatment in Oregon
ABSTRACT OBJECTIVE This study assessed the impact of Oregon's 2007 parity law, which required behavioral health insurance parity, on rates of follow-up care provided within 30 days of psychiatric inpatient care. METHODS Data sources were claims (2005-2008) for 737 individuals with inpatient stays for a mental disorder who were continuously enrolled in insurance plans affected by the parity law (intervention group) or in commercial, self-insured plans that were not affected by the law (control group). A difference-in-difference analysis was used to compare rates of follow-up care before and after the parity law between discharges of individuals in the intervention group and the control group and between discharges of individuals in the intervention group who had or had not met preparity quantitative coverage limits during a coverage year. Estimates of the marginal effects of the parity law were adjusted for gender, discharge diagnosis, relationship to policy holder, and calendar quarter of discharge. RESULTS The study included 353 discharges in the intervention group and 535 discharges in the control group. After the parity law, follow-up rates increased by 11% (p=.042) overall and by 20% for discharges of individuals who had met coverage limits (p=.028). CONCLUSIONS The Oregon parity law was associated with a large increase in the rate of follow-up care, predominantly for discharges of individuals who had met preparity quantitative coverage limits. Given similarities between the law and the 2008 Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, the results may portend a national effect of more comprehensive parity laws.
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ABSTRACT: To assess the impacts of recent state mental health parity legislation on perceived quality of health insurance coverage, perceived access to needed health care, and use of mental health specialty services by individuals with likely need for mental health care. The study sample came from two waves of a national household survey first fielded in 1997-1998 and then in 2000-2001. The analysis used a subset of the sample. The study took the Difference-in-Difference-in-Difference approach to investigate changes in self-perceived quality of health insurance coverage and access to needed health care, and use of mental health specialty care by the group with mental disorders (relative to those without) in states with parity legislation of different comprehensiveness (relative to the nonparity states) in the years after the law (relative to before the law). Overall, there were no significant or consistent effects of the parity legislation. Descriptive statistics showed significant changes in some (but not all) outcome variables, but these results disappeared in detailed statistical analyses by controlling for important covariates. The null findings of the effects of state mental health parity mandates suggest that under ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act), the scope of state parity legislation may have been restricted because of large proportion of self-insured employers. Furthermore, comprehensiveness of state legislation appears to be related to the traditional level of use of mental health specialty care, which becomes another confounder for the potential policy effects.Health Services Research 11/2004; 39(5):1361-77. DOI:10.1111/j.1475-6773.2004.00294.x · 2.49 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Since the 1990s, parity laws have been implemented to reduce inequities in mental health coverage compared with that for general medical conditions. It is unclear if parity under managed care is associated with improvements in mental health treatment quality. Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a prevalent but often undetected and undertreated and thus could potentially benefit from parity implementation. The objective of this study was to examine the association between parity implementation and changes in MDD treatment quality in the Federal Employees' Health Benefits (FEHB) Program. We conducted retrospective analyses of insurance claims data. Logistic regression models estimated quality changes for MDD-diagnosed enrollees from pre- to postparity. Subjects included MDD-diagnosed FEHB insured enrollees, aged 18-64, across multiple states and 6 FEHB plans before (1999-2000) and after (2001-2002) parity implementation. Measures included receipt of any antidepressant or psychotherapy within a given calendar year of diagnosis; receipt of appropriate psychotherapy frequency/intensity and duration; and pharmacotherapy duration during acute-phase treatment episodes. Postparity, several plans improved significantly in the likelihood of receiving antidepressant medication. In the acute-phase episodes, the greatest improvement was seen in the likelihood of follow up >or=4 months. Few or no other changes were observed in the acute-phase treatment intensity or duration quality measures. Parity under managed care was associated with modest improvements. The observed improvements were consistent with secular trends in MDD treatment. Whereas mental health parity is an important policy goal, these results highlight its limitations: improving the financing of care may not be sufficient to improve quality.Medical Care 07/2006; 44(6):506-12. DOI:10.1097/01.mlr.0000215890.30756.b2 · 2.94 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Parity in mental health benefits rectifies unfairness in health insurance coverage and reduces financial risk for those with mental illness. However, increased coverage for mental illness has been seen as creating inefficiencies and increasing total spending, based largely on results from the RAND Health Insurance Experiment conducted in the 1970s. Newer evidence suggests that cost control techniques associated with managed care give health plans alternatives to discriminatory coverage for containing costs. We review both eras of research on mental health insurance and conclude that comprehensive parity implemented in the context of managed care would have little impact on total spending.Health Affairs 05/2006; 25(3):623-34. DOI:10.1377/hlthaff.25.3.623 · 4.64 Impact Factor