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Health Agencies Update
September 16, 2009

Mental Health Costs

JAMA. 2009;302(11):1162. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.1317

Nearly twice as many US residents received mental health care in 2006 than 10 years earlier and the cost of such care substantially increased during the same period, according to a report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (http://www.meps.ahrq.gov/mepsweb/data_files/publications/st248/stat248.pdf).

The number of individuals treated for mental disorders rose from 19 million in 1996 to 36 million in 2006 and the overall cost of their care increased from $35 billion to $58 billion. During that period, mental disorders joined heart disease, cancer, trauma-related disorders, and asthma as the 5 most costly conditions in the United States. The data were derived from the Household Component of the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey.

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