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Datapoints: U.S. Out-of-Pocket Health Care Expenses for Mental Disorders, 1996–2011
Ruopeng An, Ph.D.; Huichen Zhu, M.S.
Psychiatric Services 2014; doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.201400006
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Dr. An is with the Department of Kinesiology and Community Health and Ms. Zhu is with the Department of Statistics, both at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (e-mail: ran5@illinois.edu). Amy M. Kilbourne, Ph.D., M.P.H., and Tami L. Mark, Ph.D., are editors of this column.

Copyright © 2014 by the American Psychiatric Association


Mental disorders, characterized by sustained, abnormal changes in mood, thinking, or behavior associated with impaired functioning, contribute substantially to disability in developed countries. In 2004, approximately one in four U.S. adults reported having a mental disorder (1), and the annual economic cost in 2003 was about $300 billion (2).

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Figure 1 Annual outpatient per-capita and out-of-pocket health care expenses for mental disorders in the U.S. privately insured population, 1996–2011a

aSource: Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, 1996–2011. Expenses (in 2011 dollars for hospital outpatient care, emergency room services, and office-based services and prescriptions from medical providers) are for persons under age 65. Proportion is out-of-pocket expenses divided by total expenses. Error bars denote 95% confidence intervals.



Reeves  WC;  Strine  TW;  Pratt  LA  et al:  Mental illness surveillance among adults in the United States.  Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 60(suppl 3):1–29, 2011
Insel  TR:  Assessing the economic costs of serious mental illness.  American Journal of Psychiatry 165:663–665, 2008
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