Examine how behavioral health () integration affects health care costs, emergency department () visits, and inpatient admissions.
Truven Health MarketScan Research Databases.
Social network analysis identified “care communities” (providers sharing a high number of patients) and measured integration in terms of how connected, or central, providers were to other providers in their community. Multivariable generalized linear models adjusting for age, sex, number of prescriptions, and Charlson comorbidity score were used to estimate the relationship between the centrality of providers and health care utilization of patients.
Data Sources/Study Setting
Used outpatient, inpatient, and pharmacy claims data from six Medicaid plans from 2011 to 2013 to identify study outcomes, comorbidities, providers, and health care encounters.
Behavioral health centrality ranged from 0 (no providers) to 0.49. Relative to communities at the median centrality (0.06), in 2012, patients in communities at the 75th percentile of centrality (0.31) had 0.2 fewer admissions, 2.1 fewer all‐cause visits, and accrued $1,947 fewer costs, on average.
Increased behavioral centrality was significantly associated with a reduced number of visits, less frequent inpatient admissions, and lower overall health care costs.
Data Collection/Extraction Methods