Foster Care, Mental Health, & Primary Care Visits

Research Paper Title

A Comparison Study of Primary Care Utilization and Mental Health Disorder Diagnoses Among Children In and Out of Foster Care on Medicaid.

Background

The purpose of this study was to compare the utilisation of primary care services and presence of mental health disorder diagnoses among children in foster care to children on Medicaid not in foster care in a large health system.

Methods

The data for this study were analysed from a clinical database of a multi-practice paediatric health system in Houston, Texas.

The sample included more than 95 000 children covered by Medicaid who had at least one primary care visit during the 2-year study period.

Results and Conclusions

The results of the study demonstrated that children not in foster care had a greater number of primary care visits and the odds of having >3 visits were significantly lower for children in foster care with a mental health disorder diagnosis.

Additionally, more than a quarter of children in foster care had a diagnosis of a mental health disorder, compared with 15% of children not in foster care.

Reference

Keefe, R.J., Van Horne, B.S., Cain, C.M., Budolfson, K., Thompson, R. & Greeley, C.S. (2020) A Comparison Study of Primary Care Utilization and Mental Health Disorder Diagnoses Among Children In and Out of Foster Care on Medicaid. Clinical Pediatrics. 59(3), pp.252-258. doi: 10.1177/0009922819898182. Epub 2020 Jan 3.

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