Disabled Medicaid beneficiaries often have psychiatric illness, multiple chronic conditions, study finds

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Disabled Medicaid beneficiaries often have psychiatric illness, multiple chronic conditions, study f
Disabled Medicaid beneficiaries often have psychiatric illness, multiple chronic conditions, study f

Nearly half of all Medicaid beneficiaries with disabilities also have psychiatric illness. They also increasingly are being diagnosed and treated for multiple comorbidities, according to a report released Tuesday by the Center for Health Care Strategy.

The report, Faces of Medicaid III: Refining the Portrait of People with Multiple Chronic Conditions, builds upon a previous analysis that looked at one-year's worth of national Medicaid diagnostic data. This report combines five-year's worth of diagnostic data with pharmacy claims. Among the findings: Roughly 45% of Medicaid beneficiaries with disabilities have three or more chronic conditions; the prevalence of cardiovascular disease among this population has risen to 44% over past years; and as much as 75% of Medicaid spending on patients with disabilities has gone to those with three or more chronic conditions.

This new picture of this population could help policymakers and Medicaid stakeholders to develop a more cost effective, higher quality system for disabled patients with multiple conditions, researchers say. Kaiser Permanente funded the study.