Preventing Hospitalization in Depressed Rural Patients

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Policy Brief

From the WICHE Center for Rural Mental Health Research, this study examines whether depressed rural primary care patients are more likely than urban patients to be hospitalized; it investigates whether differences in hospitalization rates can be explained by differences in the utilization of specialty outpatient care; and it looks at whether rural patients face more “insurance barriers” to outpatient care. This study should be of interest to policy makers and administrators seeking to develop better delivery systems for rural mental health services. It should also be of interest to insurers, self-insured employers and other payers seeking the most effective use of health care expenditures.

Executive summary

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