By Claire Thayer, June 7, 2016
The June 2016 issue of Health Affairs takes a deep dive into behavioral health from several different vantage points, including public and private health spending, veteran’s mental health service use, quality measurement, mental illness and gun violence, drug monitoring, suicide prevention, along with trends in media coverage.
Here are a few highlights of several of the articles in the June 2016 issue:
On the health spending spectrum, a long-term longitudinal Health Affairs study finds a increase in the total mental health treatment expenditures financed by private insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid increased from 44 percent in 1986 to 68 percent in 2014. While the share of spending for substance use disorder treatment financed by private insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid showed almost no increase, was 45 percent in 1986 and 46 percent in 2014.
Another article in the June 2016 issue examines gun violence, gun-related suicide and violent crime in people with serious mental illnesses, and whether legal restrictions on firearm sales to people with a history of mental health adjudication are effective in preventing gun violence.
State prescription drug monitoring programs were reviewed based on findings from a national survey to assess the effects of these programs on the prescribing of opioid analgesics and other pain medications in ambulatory care settings. In this study overview, researchers found that the implementation of a prescription drug monitoring program was associated with more than a 30 percent reduction in the rate of prescribing of Schedule II opioids.