Mental health status and healthcare utilization among community dwelling older adults.
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BACKGROUND: Shifts in mental health utilization patterns are necessary to allow for meaningful access to care for vulnerable populations. There have been long standing issues in how mental health is provided, which has caused problems in that care being efficacious for those seeking it. AIMS: To assess the relationship between mental health status and healthcare utilization among adults 65years. METHODS: A negative binomial regression model was used to assess the relationship between mental health status and healthcare utilization related to office-based physician visits, while a two-part model, consisting of logistic regression and negative binomial regression, was used to separately model emergency visits and inpatient services. RESULTS: The receipt of care in office-based settings were marginally higher for subjects with mental health difficulties. Both probabilities and counts of inpatient hospitalizations were similar across mental health categories. The count of ER visits was similar across mental health categories; however, the probability of having an emergency department visit was marginally higher for older adults who reported mental health difficulties in 2012. CONCLUSION: These findings are encouraging and lend promise to the recent initiatives on addressing gaps in mental healthcare services.