Mentally Ill Medicare Patients Less Likely Than Others To Receive Certain Types Of Surgery

Department of Internal Medicine, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA.
Health Affairs (Impact Factor: 4.97). 07/2011; 30(7):1307-15. DOI: 10.1377/hlthaff.2010.1084
Source: PubMed


Mentally ill people may face barriers to receiving elective surgical procedures as a result of societal stigma and the cognitive, behavioral, and interpersonal deficits associated with mental illness. Using data from a cohort of elderly Medicare beneficiaries in 2007, we examined whether the mentally ill have less access than people without mental illness to several common procedures that are typically not for emergencies and are performed at the discretion of the provider and the patient. Results suggest that Medicare patients with mental illness are 30-70 percent less likely than others to receive these "referral-sensitive" surgical procedures. Those who did undergo an elective procedure generally experienced poorer outcomes both in the hospital and after discharge. Efforts to improve access to and outcomes of nonpsychiatric care for mentally ill patients are warranted.

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    • "This literature review has added five further studies examining associations between mental disorder and LOS. All five of these studies showed those with mental disorder were more likely to have a longer LOS than those without mental disorder (Bourgeois et al., 2005; Bressi et al., 2006; Hoover et al., 2004; Li et al., 2011; Sayers et al., 2007). As noted above, it is feasible that these outcomes provide a rationale for the disparity in treatment. "
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    ABSTRACT: People with mental disorder experience a heavy burden of physical ill-health. This, alongside structural health-system changes, means more people with mental disorder are being cared for in non-psychiatric hospitals. This article reports on 32 studies that have investigated the care and outcomes of people with comorbid mental and physical health problems in non-psychiatric hospitals. Prevalence of mental disorder ranged between 4%-46%, and rates of psychiatric referral was 2%-10%. The receipt of invasive cardiac procedures was markedly reduced for those with mental disorder. Likelihood of experiencing an adverse event, post-operative complication or increased length of stay was also elevated for those with mental disorder.
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    ABSTRACT: This study compared rates of cervical cancer screening and acute care (primary or gynecological) visits among women with and without a diagnosis of psychosis, substance use disorder, bipolar disorder or mania, or depression. Using data about women (N=105,681) enrolled in Maryland's Medicaid program in fiscal year 2005, the authors constructed logistic models with cancer screening and acute care visits as dependent variables and serious mental illness flags as independent variables. Covariates were age, race, geography, Medicaid eligibility category, and sexually transmitted diseases. The logistic model of cervical cancer screening outcomes was repeated with acute care visits as a covariate. Women with psychosis (N=4,747), bipolar disorder or mania (N=3,319), or depression (N=5,014) were significantly (p<.05) more likely than women in a control group without such disorders (N=85,375) to receive cancer screening (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) range=1.46-1.78) and to have associated acute care visits (AOR range=1.45-2.15). Compared with those in the control group, women with a substance use disorder, with (N=1,104) or without (N=6,122) psychosis, demonstrated reduced odds of cancer screening (AOR=.80) but similar odds of acute care visits (AOR=1.04). Acute care visits were strongly correlated with cancer screens. Genital cancer prevalence did not significantly differ among diagnostic groups. In Maryland Medicaid, the odds of cancer screening and related acute care visits were greater for women with major mental disorders compared with women in the control group. For women with substance use disorders, however, screening was reduced and acute care visits were similar compared with women in the control group. Providers should encourage and support their patients with substance use disorders to increase use of preventive care services by primary care physicians and gynecologists.
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