Treatment Patterns and Costs among Children with ADHD

Treatment Patterns and Costs among Children Aged 2 to 17 Years with ADHD in New York State Medicaid in 2013  

Guo L, Danielson M, Cogan L, Hines L, Armour B.

J Atten Disord. 2018 Dec 14: doi: 10.1177/1087054718816176.

Guest Commentary by Dr. Margaret Weiss*: Another study showing how expensive ADHD is.

OBJECTIVE: To identify children with ADHD enrolled in New York State (NYS) Medicaid and characterize ADHD-associated costs by treatment category.
METHOD: In 2013, 1.4 million children aged 2 to 17 years were enrolled in NYS Medicaid. Medicaid claims and encounters were used to identify children with ADHD, classify them by type of treatment received, and estimate associated costs.
RESULTS: The ADHD cohort comprised 5.4% of all Medicaid-enrolled children, with 35.0% receiving medication only, 16.2% receiving psychological services only, 42.2% receiving both, and 6.6% receiving neither. The total costs for the ADHD cohort (US$729.3 million) accounted for 18.1% of the total costs for children enrolled in NYS Medicaid.
CONCLUSION: This study underscores the importance of achieving a better understanding of children with ADHD enrolled in NYS Medicaid. A framework to categorize children with ADHD based on their treatment categories may help to target interventions to improve the quality of care and reduce costs.

* Dr. Margaret Weiss is Director of Clinical Research, Child Psychiatry at Cambridge Health Alliance, Harvard University. Her commentary reflects her own opinion. It is not approved or necessarily representative of the CADDRA board.

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