Financial incentives for physicians participating in different Medicare Advantage Plans vary which could impact how often mental disorders are addressed and treated by clinicians in managed care settings. Therefore, it is important to document observed variations in recognition and treatment patterns for mental disorders like depression and anxiety across alternative insurance arrangements. In the coming year, Medicare beneficiaries will need to make decisions about the type of Medicare Advantage plans to enroll in, making it helpful to understand whether the differences by plan type in the mechanisms for referrals to specialists and pre-certification procedures influence access to treatment for persons with mental disorders.
Citations: Avay GM, Goetz E (2014) Late Life Depression and Anxiety in Four Types of Medicare Advantage Plans: Comorbidity with other Medical Diseases and Resource Utilization. J Depress Anxiety S1:002.