Infectious Disease

Beneficiaries skipped millions of mental health visits due to the COVID-19 pandemic

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Disclosure:
Healio Psychiatry was unable to confirm Richter’s relevant financial statements at the time of reporting.

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CMS today released data showing beneficiaries missed millions of visits to primary, preventive and psychiatric care between March 2020 and October 2020 due to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Occupancy rates have returned to pre-pandemic levels for certain treatments. However, the mental health services were the slowest to recover.

“This new data provides insight into the impact of the pandemic on marginalized communities – especially children and other vulnerable people – and is critical as we work to meet the needs of those who depend on and depend on Medicaid [Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)], ”CMS acting administrator Liz Richter said in a press release. “While we are encouraged that people have access to some health services before the pandemic, there is still a lot of work to be done to connect people to mental health services and to ensure that we fill the void in other types of services that are being brought about by the pandemic caused. ”

Analysis of submissions to CMS found a 34% decrease in mental health service use among people under 19 compared to the same period in 2019, and a decrease of 22% among adults aged 19 to 64 compared to the same period in 2019 2019. Overall, children had approximately 14 million fewer interactions with mental health services and adults approximately 12 million fewer. In addition, the use of substance use disorders decreased by 3.6 million services compared to the same period in the previous year.

According to the press release, usage rates for certain primary and preventive services in children under 19 have returned to pre-pandemic levels or have shown signs of recovery in many parts of the United States. However, to make up for missed services between March 2020 and October 2020, millions of services still need to be provisioned.

CMS has focused on psychiatric care in its “Connect Children with Insurance” campaign to help families with children and adolescents eligible for Medicaid and CHIP contact through a national contact and registration initiative To close service gaps.

“[CMS] is committed to connecting people and children with health care – including mental health care, ”Richter said in the press release.

Reference:

CMS. CMS data shows vulnerable Americans foregoing psychiatric care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Accessed May 14, 2021. Available at: https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/press-releases/cms-data-shows-vulnerable-americans-forgoing-mental-health-care-during-covid-19- pandemic.

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