Antipsychotic prescriptions for children enrolled in Washington state’s Medicaid program decreased by nearly half following the implementation of an innovative psychiatric consultation program affiliated with Seattle Children’s, according to a study published in the March 2017 issue of Health Services Research.
The 49% reduction in prescriptions from July 2006 to 2013 is a reversal from the steady statewide growth in the use of antipsychotics to treat children prior to the introduction of the Partnership Access Line (PAL). The number of children on Medicaid treated with antipsychotics in Washington decreased by 940 despite an increase of 186,855 enrollees in the joint Federal/state program during the study. According to the study, this counters a national trend of increased antipsychotic use with children from 2002 to 2015.
Other key findings in the study include:
- High-dose antipsychotic use fell by 57.8% in children 6 to 12 years old; and by 52.1% in teens
- 1,458 providers received a direct patient consult through PAL
- 759 providers attended at least one of PAL’s 31 general psychopharmacology education conferences