Med Care 44:568-580.
VA Puget Sound Health Care System, and the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA
BACKGROUND: Although difficulties in applying risk-adjustment measures to mental health populations are increasingly evident, a model designed specifically for patients with psychiatric disorders has never been developed.
OBJECTIVE: Our objective was to develop and validate a case-mix classification system, the “PsyCMS,” for predicting concurrent and future mental health (MH) and substance abuse (SA) healthcare costs and utilization.
SUBJECTS: Subjects included 914,225 veterans who used Veterans Administration (VA) healthcare services during fiscal year 1999 (FY99) with any MH/SA diagnosis (International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision, Clinical Modification [ICD-9-CM] codes 290.00-312.99, 316.00-316.99).
METHODS: We derived diagnostic categories from ICD-CM codes using Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition definitions, clinical input, and empiric analyses. Weighted least-squares regression models were developed for concurrent (FY99) and prospective (FY00) MH/SA costs and utilization. We compared the predictive ability of the PsyCMS with several case-mix systems, including adjusted clinical groups, diagnostic cost groups, and the chronic illness and disability payment system. Model performance was evaluated using R-squares and mean absolute prediction errors (MAPEs).
RESULTS: Patients with MH/SA diagnoses comprised 29.6% of individuals seen in the VA during FY99. The PsyCMS accounted for a distinct proportion of the variance in concurrent and prospective MH/SA costs (R=0.11 and 0.06, respectively), outpatient MH/SA utilization (R=0.25 and 0.07), and inpatient MH/SA utilization (R=0.13 and 0.05). The PsyCMS performed better than other case-mix systems examined with slightly higher R-squares and lower MAPEs.
CONCLUSIONS: The PsyCMS has clinically meaningful categories, demonstrates good predictive ability for modeling concurrent and prospective MH/SA costs and utilization, and thus represents a useful method for predicting mental health costs and utilization.
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