This study investigated changes in depression status over 2 years and examined whether having depression in Year 1 is associated with greater healthcare expenditures in Year 2 among community-dwelling older adults. This study analyzed the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (Panel 13, 2008–2009) for a nationally representative sample of 1,740 older adults (65+). The two self-reported depression measures used were the ICD-9-CM (depression) and Patient Health Questionnaire-2 (potential depression, scores 3 or higher). Using the combined two-part models, additional healthcare costs at Year 2 associated with the Year 1 depression status were calculated by the service type after adjusting for predisposing, enabling, and need covariates assessed at Year 2. Over 7.9 % of older adults reported depression and an additional 6.5 % presented with potential depression. The ICD-9 depression status was relatively stable; 84 % continued reporting depression during Year 2. Those with depression at Year 1 spent $3,855 more on total healthcare, $1,053 more on office-based visits, and $929 more on prescription drugs during Year 2 compared with non-depressed people after controlling for other covariates, including healthcare needs (p < .05). While potential depression was less persistent (31.1 % remained potentially depressed at Year 2), potential depression was associated with lower socio-economic status and greater healthcare expenditures from home health services and emergency department visits during Year 2. These results indicate the importance of monitoring depression in older adults, considering its impacts on the increases in healthcare expenditures in the following year even after controlling for co-occurring health conditions.
Psychiatric Quarterly – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 28, 2014
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