From Modern Healthcare: Physicians may be overprescribing psychotropic medications to children on Medicaid or CHIP, which may be partly due to inadequate access to alternatives including therapy and trained behavioral health specialists.
“Innovation Center researchers reviewed Medicaid administrative data that tracked diagnoses, prescription drug fills, and payment data from 2006 to 2009, the last year there is comparable nationwide data.
During that time period, the number of Medicaid and CHIP beneficiaries diagnosed with disruptive behavior disorders such as attention-deficit disorder, oppositional defiant disorder or conduct disorder increased 24.5%. But the overall increase in pediatric Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program enrollment was only 8.8% during that same period.
All in all, 24.9 million prescriptions were filled in 2009 for children diagnosed with disruptive behavior disorders, costing Medicaid $2 billion. That was up nearly 28% from 19.5 million prescriptions for $1.62 billion in 2006.
Psychotherapeutic drug claims represented 30% to 40% of prescription claims, but over half of prescription costs of all drug claims for children in Medicaid and CHIP.”