OBJECTIVE To examine the association of a comprehensive MH integration model with health care utilization, psychotropic medication use, and MH follow-up care among Medicaid-enrolled children at FQHCs.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS This retrospective cohort study used Massachusetts claims data from 2014 to 2017 to conduct difference-in-differences (DID) analyses before vs after implementation of a complete FQHC-based MH integration model. The sample included Medicaid-enrolled children aged 3 to 17 years who received primary care at 3 intervention FQHCs or 6 geographically proximal nonintervention FQHCs in Massachusetts. Data were analyzed in July 2022.
RESULTS Among the 20 170 unique children in the study sample, at baseline (2014), their mean (SD) age was 9.0 (4.1) years, and 4876 (51.2%) were female. In contrast to nonintervention FQHCs, TEAM UP was positively associated with primary care visits with MH diagnoses (DID, 4.35 visits per 1000 patients per quarter; 95%CI, 0.02 to 8.67 visits per 1000 patients per quarter) and MH service use (DID, 54.86 visits per 1000 patients per quarter; 95%CI, 1.29 to 108.43 visits per 1000 patients per quarter) and was negatively associated with rates of psychotropic medication use (DID, −0.4%; 95% CI −0.7%to −0.01%) and polypharmacy (DID, −0.3%; 95%CI, −0.4%to −0.1%). TEAM UP was positively associated with ED visits without MH diagnoses (DID, 9.45 visits per 1000 patients per quarter; 95%CI, 1.06 to 17.84 visits per 1000 patients per quarter), but was not significantly associated with ED visits with MH diagnoses. No statistically significant changes were observed in inpatient admissions, follow-up visits after MH ED visits, or follow-up visits after MH hospitalizations.
Kim J, Sheldrick RC, Gallagher K, et al. Association of Integrating Mental Health Into Pediatric Primary Care at Federally Qualified Health Centers With Utilization and Follow-up Care. JAMA Netw Open. 2023;6(4):e239990. DOI: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2023.9990