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May 13, 2009

Insurance Parity and Outpatient Care Following a Psychiatric Hospitalization

JAMA. 2009;301(18):1880-1881. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.633

To the Editor: In their study of insurance parity and the use of follow-up mental health care, Dr Trivedi and colleagues1 reported that enrollees in Medicare plans that had greater cost sharing for mental health services than for other services were less likely to receive timely outpatient care following a psychiatric hospitalization. The authors reported that the interaction of race and parity was not statistically significant. However, it seems difficult to assess whether race played a role in receiving follow-up care because (1) the inclusion criteria may have excluded many individuals who could appropriately have been in the study and (2) the identification of race was limited to the categories of white, black, and other.

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