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Article Abstract

Online ISSN: 1099-176X    Print ISSN: 1091-4358
The Journal of Mental Health Policy and Economics
Volume 21, Issue 2, 2018. Pages: 71-78
Published Online: 1 June 2018

Copyright © 2018 ICMPE.


A Cost-effectiveness Study of the Impact of the Affordable Care Act on Depression Outcomes in the United States

Babak Mohit1

1MBA, DrPH, Center for Evaluation of Value and Risk in Healthcare (CEVR), Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA, USA

* Correspondence to: Babak Mohit, MBA, DrPH, Center for Evaluation of Value and Risk in Healthcare (CEVR), Tufts Medical Center, 800 Washington St. Box 061, Boston, MA 02111, USA.
Tel.: +1-443-414 0264
Fax: +1-617-636 5560
E-mail: bmohit1@alumni.jh.edu

Source of Funding: None declared.


Objective: Two separate changes in insurance regulation have altered mental health delivery to Americans: (i) the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPA 2008) and (ii) the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA 2010). This study aims to model and provide estimates for the costs and effects of depression that are impacted by these regulations.

Method: Literature exists on the effectiveness of insurance coverage in reducing the prevalence, the costs of treatment and lost productivity time, as well as the health related quality of life (HRQL) associated with depression. Data from this literature is employed in a Markov model to obtain costs and effects associated with depression under both the MHPA and the ACA regulations as compared to without either one.

Results: The implementation of these regulations may reduce the per capita lifetime costs of depression treatment and lost productivity by $215 and enhance life expectancy by 0.01 Quality Adjusted Life Years (QALY) per capita.

Conclusions: If the savings of these regulations are expanded over the entire cohort of Americans adults, the potential cost savings from treated depression are estimated at $47.30 billion in addition to 2.2 million QALYs saved.

Received 20 December 2016; accepted 30 April 2018

Copyright 2018 ICMPE