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Can J Psychiatry. 2016 Jun;61(6):358-66. doi: 10.1177/0706743716644764.

Rates of Mental Illness and Addiction among High-Cost Users of Medical Services in Ontario.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, Women's College Hospital, Toronto, Ontario Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario Women's College Research Institute, Toronto, Ontario jennifer.hensel@mail.utoronto.ca.
2
Department of Psychiatry, Women's College Hospital, Toronto, Ontario Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario Women's College Research Institute, Toronto, Ontario.
3
Women's College Research Institute, Toronto, Ontario Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, Toronto, Ontario.
4
Department of Psychiatry, Women's College Hospital, Toronto, Ontario Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario Women's College Research Institute, Toronto, Ontario Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, Toronto, Ontario.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To quantify the burden of mental illness and addiction among high-costing users of medical services (HCUs) using population-level data from Ontario, and compare to a referent group of nonusers.

METHOD:

We conducted a population-level cohort study using health administrative data from fiscal year 2011-2012 for all Ontarians with valid health insurance as of April 1, 2011 (N = 10,909,351). Individuals were grouped based on medical costs for hospital, emergency, home, complex continuing, and rehabilitation care in 2011-2012: top 1%, top 2% to 5%, top 6% to 50%, bottom 50%, and a zero-cost nonuser group. The rate of diagnosed psychotic, major mood, and substance use disorders in each group was compared to the zero-cost referent group with adjusted odds ratios (AORs) for age, sex, and socioeconomic status. A sensitivity analysis included anxiety and other disorders.

RESULTS:

Mental illness and addiction rates increased across cost groups affecting 17.0% of the top 1% of users versus 5.7% of the zero-cost group (AOR, 3.70; 95% confidence interval [CI], 3.59 to 3.81). This finding was most pronounced for psychotic disorders (3.7% vs. 0.7%; AOR, 5.07; 95% CI, 4.77 to 5.38) and persisted for mood disorders (10.0% vs. 3.3%; AOR, 3.52; 95% CI, 3.39 to 3.66) and substance use disorders (7.0% vs. 2.3%; AOR, 3.82; 95% CI, 3.66 to 3.99). When anxiety and other disorders were included, the rate of mental illness was 39.3% in the top 1% compared to 21.3% (AOR, 2.39; 95% CI, 2.34 to 2.45).

CONCLUSIONS:

A high burden of mental illness and addiction among HCUs warrants its consideration in the design and delivery of services targeting HCUs.

KEYWORDS:

co-morbidity; health services; high-cost users

PMID:
27254845
PMCID:
PMC4872244
DOI:
10.1177/0706743716644764
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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