• Article

Associations between magnitude of child maltreatment and Medicaid expenditures for psychotropic medications

OBJECTIVE:

This study examined relationships between various measures of the severity of child maltreatment and expenditures on psychotropic drugs among children in the welfare system.

METHODS:

Child participants (N=4,453) in the first National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW) were linked to their Medicaid claims from 36 states. Three specifications for severity of maltreatment were developed. A two-part regression of logistic and generalized linear models of expenditures on psychotropic medications was estimated for each specification.

RESULTS:

Physically abused children had higher odds (odds ratio [OR]=1.34) and neglected children had lower odds (OR=.76) of incurring psychotropic drug expenditures. Children who experienced the most severe level of harm had higher odds (OR=1.33) of medication use, compared with children without appreciable harm. No maltreatment specifications were associated with increased expenditures on psychotropic drugs.

CONCLUSIONS:

The magnitude of maltreatment affected odds of use of psychotropic drugs but had no effect on Medicaid expenditures for these drugs.

Citation

Raghavan, R., Brown, D., Allaire, B., Ross, R., & Landsverk, J. (2016). Associations between magnitude of child maltreatment and Medicaid expenditures for psychotropic medications. Psychiatric Services, 67(8), 916-919. DOI: 10.1176/appi.ps.201500211

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