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Medicaid authorization hampers access to antipsychotics

July 23, 2014
by Julie Miller
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According to a study in the American Journal of Managed Care, when a state has Medicaid prior authorization requirements before enrollees can receive atypical antipsychotic drugs, there is a greater likelihood that an imprisoned resident will display psychotic symptoms or report a prior diagnosis of schizophrenia. The estimate shows that the probability an inmate displays symptoms increases by 2.7 percentage points in a state with a Medicaid prior authorization requirement for atypicals relative to a state without the requirement. Total costs associated with severe psychiatric disorders in jails are high, and new policies on how to treat incarcerated individuals with schizophrenia, particularly nonviolent offenders, are warranted, the authors said.