Diabetes Tests Lag Among Medi-Cal Patients With Mental Illnesses
Despite their increased risk for chronic diseases, nearly three-quarters of Medi-Cal beneficiaries with severe mental health issues are not adequately screened for diabetes, according to a study published on Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine, Modern Healthcare reports.
Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program.
Details of Study
For the study researchers examined screening patterns among more than 50,000 Medi-Cal beneficiaries ages 18 and older who were diagnosed with severe mental health issues and had taken antipsychotic medication.
Screening patterns were reviewed during two study periods:
- The 2009 calendar year; and
- Oct. 1, 2010, through Sept. 30, 2011.
Diabetes-specific screenings were defined as blood glucose tests that required fasting.
The study found that just 30% of study participants had undergone diabetes-specific screening.
Meanwhile, nearly 40% received non-fasting blood glucose tests and about 31% received no form of diabetes screening.
According to the study, patients who had at least one outpatient visit with a primary care physician were more likely to be screened.
The findings "suppor[t] the value of burgeoning efforts to integrate behavioral health and primary care," according to the study (Ross Johnson, Modern Healthcare, 11/9).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.