NEW YORK, May 20, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Children and young adults under the age of 23 were disproportionately represented in the increase in private insurance claim lines1 with mental health diagnoses from 2007 to 2017, according to a new white paper from FAIR Health, a national, independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing transparency to healthcare costs and health insurance information.
At a time of widespread concern about evidence of a nationwide increase in behavioral health disorders, including both mental health and substance use disorders, FAIR Health drew on data from its database of over 28 billion private healthcare claim records—the largest in the country—to analyze behavioral health trends and patterns in the decade from 2007 to 2017. That period spans the time prior to and after the passage of the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008, which required a plan's coverage for behavioral health treatment to be at parity with its coverage for medical-surgical treatment.
Among the findings:
- Claim lines with behavioral health diagnoses increased 108 percent as a percentage of all medical claim lines from 2007 to 2017.
- In keeping with other researchers' findings that young people are bearing much of the burden of the increase in mental health disorders, FAIR Health found that the pediatric population (defined as ages 0-22, to include people of college age) was disproportionately represented in the increase in claim lines with mental health diagnoses in the period 2007-2017. For example:
- The pediatric share of claim lines for major depressive disorder increased from 15 percent to 23 percent.
- Claim lines for generalized anxiety disorder rose by greater percentages for individuals of college age (19-22) and high school age (14-18) than any adult group.
- For adjustment disorders, claim lines for young adults (ages 19-30, including college-age individuals) increased 78 percent—more than for any other age group.
- Opioid dependence claim lines increased overall 1,180 percent from 2007 to 2017—but fell 50 percent from 2015 to 2017.
- "Other stimulant dependence" (dependence on stimulants other than cocaine) was the substance use disorder with the greatest increase in claim lines from 2007 to 2017 (3,490 percent), despite constituting a relatively small percentage of all medical claim lines.
- From 2007 to 2017, claim lines associated with major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder became more common by comparison to claim lines for all medical diagnoses in most parts of the country—except the South.
FAIR Health President Robin Gelburd commented: "At a time of change in the nation's behavioral health, we are pleased to use our unparalleled data repository to shed light on many aspects of both mental health and substance use disorders. Our study provides a strong foundation of key indicators of behavioral health services among the privately insured. We look forward to further studies that focus on the specific services rendered, the types of venues where patients seek care and the specialties of the healthcare professionals providing the services."
For the full white paper, click here.
Follow us on Twitter @FAIRHealth
About FAIR Health
FAIR Health is a national, independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing transparency to healthcare costs and health insurance information through data products, consumer resources and health systems research support. FAIR Health possesses the nation's largest collection of private healthcare claims data, which includes over 28 billion claim records contributed by payors and administrators who insure or process claims for private insurance plans covering more than 150 million individuals. FAIR Health licenses its privately billed data and data products—including benchmark modules, data visualizations, custom analytics, episodes of care analytics and market indices—to commercial insurers and self-insurers, employers, providers, hospitals and healthcare systems, government agencies, researchers and others. Certified by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) as a national Qualified Entity, FAIR Health also receives data representing the experience of all individuals enrolled in traditional Medicare Parts A, B and D; FAIR Health houses data on Medicare Advantage enrollees in its private claims data repository. FAIR Health can produce insightful analytic reports and data products based on combined Medicare and commercial claims data for government, providers, payors and other authorized users. FAIR Health's systems for processing and storing protected health information have earned HITRUST CSF certification and achieved AICPA SOC 2 compliance by meeting the rigorous data security requirements of these standards. As a testament to the reliability and objectivity of FAIR Health data, the data have been incorporated in statutes and regulations around the country and designated as the official, neutral data source for a variety of state health programs, including workers' compensation and personal injury protection (PIP) programs. FAIR Health data serve as an official reference point in support of certain state balance billing laws that protect consumers against bills for surprise out-of-network and emergency services. FAIR Health also uses its database to power a free consumer website available in English and Spanish and an English/Spanish mobile app, which enable consumers to estimate and plan for their healthcare expenditures and offer a rich educational platform on health insurance. The website has been honored by the White House Summit on Smart Disclosure, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), URAC, the eHealthcare Leadership Awards, appPicker, Employee Benefit News and Kiplinger's Personal Finance. FAIR Health also is named a top resource for patients in Elisabeth Rosenthal's book, An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back. For more information on FAIR Health, visit fairhealth.org.
1 A claim line is an individual procedure or service listed on an insurance claim.
Executive Director of Communications and Government Relations
SOURCE FAIR Health