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Mental health-substance use services in hospitals up after parity law, finds new report
Date:2/26/2013

ity. "What is driving these increases is unclear."

Out-of-Pocket Spending After Parity Law

In 2011, out-of-pocket payments for mental health admissions more closely aligned with payments for medical/surgical admissions. However, the amount spent out-of-pocket on substance use admissions remained higher than payments for medical/surgical admissions. Out-of-pocket payments for substance use hospital admissions grew at twice the rate of out-of-pocket payments for mental health or medical/surgical admissions between 2010 and 2011.

"While it is too soon to understand the full impact of the Parity Act, we need to be looking carefully to make sure we understand why these hospital out-of-pocket payments may be growing at a faster pace than medical spending. Moreover, while there is widespread interest in better understanding the drivers of cost and utilization, the drivers, whether they be benefit design, the economy, or something else, need to be monitored so we better understand them," said HCCI Executive Director Dr. David Newman.

Jump in Spending Accompanies Higher Use

Per person spending on mental health inpatient admissions grew by 11.7 percent to $21.33 in 2011. Substance use admission spending per person rose 28.9 percent to $10.06 in 2011. In contrast, per capita hospital spending for medical/surgical admissions grew 4.3 percent to $769.16 in 2011. Although relatively small amounts are spent per person on mental health and substance use admissions, the share of total hospital spending on these conditions grew between 2007 and 2011. Mental health spending as a share of total hospital spending grew from 1.8 percent in 2009 to 2.2 percent in 2011; substance use spending as a share of hospital spending rose from 0.7 percent in 2009 to 1.0 percent in 2011.

Spending growth for mental health and substance use admissions was determined more by increased utilization than by rising prices. In 2011, prices for mental
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Contact: Jemma Weymouth
jweymouth@burnesscommunications.com
301-652-1558
Burness Communications
Source:Eurekalert

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