Health Services Research & Development

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Wong ES, Maciejewski ML, Hebert PL, Fortney JC, Liu CF. Spillover Effects of Massachusetts Health Reform on Mental Health Use by VA and Medicare Dual Enrollees. Administration and policy in mental health. 2019 Mar 1; 46(2):145-153.
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Abstract: Older veterans can obtain care from the Veterans Affairs Health System (VA), Medicare or both. We examined whether their use of mental health care was impacted by capacity effects stemming from younger, uninsured veterans' enrolling in VA to satisfy the individual mandate within Massachusetts Health Reform (MHR). Using administrative data, we applied a difference-in-difference approach to compare pre-post changes in mental health use following MHR implementation. Findings indicated MHR was associated with increases in use through Medicare and the probability of dual VA-Medicare use. These results provide support for the possibility that limited capacity led to care seeking outside VA.