OHSU Study Reveals “Phantom” Mental Health Care Providers in Medicaid Directories

From Willamette Week, July 8, 2022

The findings reveal glaring inaccuracies in the accessibility of mental health care.

READ – Phantom Networks: Discrepancies Between Reported And Realized Mental Health Care Access In Oregon Medicaid (PDF)

Directories of mental health care providers for low-income Oregonians vastly overstate the availability of care, according to a new study by researchers at Oregon Health & Science University.

The study, written by OHSU’s Dr. Jane M. Zhu, found that 6 out of 10 “in-network” mental health care providers in Oregon Medicaid directories do not actually see Medicaid patients.

“If the majority of providers are not actually accessible, it leads to delays and interruptions in care and treatment that people need,” Zhu said in a statement.

Oregon regularly ranks among the worst states in the country for access to mental health services. In 2020, for example, Mental Health America ranked Oregon at 46th in the nation.

The study, published in the July issue of the medical journal Health Affairs, compares the lists of providers in Oregon Medicaid directories to practical data collected from Medicaid members 65 and younger. (Oregon provides medical care to low-income residents through the Oregon Health Plan, the state’s Medicaid program.)

READ MORE OF THIS ARTICLE – at the link above.