Mental-Health, Substance-Use Services in Hospitals Up after Parity Law
Feb. 27—In the first year insurers were required to treat behavioral health like any other medical condition, hospital stays for mental illness and substance abuse increased, while hospital visits for other conditions declined, according to a Health Care Cost Institute report.
The report found that substance use admissions grew by 19.5 percent in 2011 for people younger than age 65 who were covered by employer-sponsored health insurance, while mental health admissions grew by 5.9 percent. Medical/surgical admissions declined by 2.3 percent for the same population.
Mental health spending as a share of total hospital spending grew from 1.8 percent in 2009 to 2.2 percent in 2011, and substance use spending, from 0.7 percent in 2009 to 1.0 percent in 2011.
Data for The Impact of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act on Inpatient Admissions Report were gathered after the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 took effect. The data source was a set of large health insurers that collectively represent almost 40 percent of the U.S. private health insurance market.
Publication Date: Wednesday, February 27, 2013