Medicaid Costs Declined Among Emergency Department Patients who Received Brief Interventions for Substance Use Disorders through WASBIRT

Sep 2007 |
Online Library
Medicaid-Only Aged, Blind or Disabled, April 2004-March 2006

Changes in Medicaid costs for disabled Medicaid clients who received at least a brief intervention through the Washington State Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (WASBIRT) Project were compared to changes in costs for a matched group of Medicaid clients who did not receive an intervention through this program. Differences in Medicaid costs for the two groups before and after an Emergency Department visit were examined using two-stage, propensity-score adjusted regression models. The reductions in costs for patients who received at least a brief intervention were statistically significant and substantial. Most of the Medicaid cost reductions were due to declines in the costs associated with inpatient hospitalizations from Emergency Department admissions.

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