Overprescribing for Medicaid kids sparked by behavioral health provider shortage

The CMS has revealed that physicians may be overprescribing psychotherapeutic medication to children on Medicaid or CHIP, which may be due to inadequate access to behavioral health specialists.

The U.S. is experiencing a shortage of child psychiatrists, and many don't accept Medicaid, according to a new study from the CMS' Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation released in the April edition of the Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research.

"Many children may be receiving treatment from practitioners who lack sufficient expertise to manage drug therapy effectively," the study said. "Medications may be overprescribed when concurrent behavioral health therapies are not available or are underutilized."

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