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May 13, 2009

Insurance Parity and Outpatient Care Following a Psychiatric Hospitalization—Reply

JAMA. 2009;301(18):1880-1881. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.634

In Reply: Mr Lee and Dr Xiong raise the important issue of the association of race with follow-up care after a psychiatric hospitalization. In our sample of Medicare managed care enrollees hospitalized for a mental illness from 2002 to 2006, black enrollees were significantly less likely than white enrollees to receive timely follow-up mental health care after discharge. Thirty-day follow-up rates were 57% for white enrollees compared with 45% for black enrollees (P < .001). This result is consistent with other studies of racial disparities in the quality of care for Medicare managed care enrollees.1,2