Expert panelists explore prevalence and disparities of MDD across patient populations.
Michael Rothrock, MBA, MHA: Similar to the last question, [disparities] come down to socioeconomic status. It’s very prevalent in the Medicaid population. These folks are low income. These folks are unable to hold down a physical home or place of residence. Those patients are going to be the biggest challenge. In the next wave, I might put in the dual-eligible/low-income subsidy patients within the Medicare channel: high prevalence, high-utilizing patients, and high rates of mental health.
Last but not least would be the commercial person. As Dr Cannon mentioned, in a commercial environment, the urban centers, we probably have a pretty good identification of where they are. They’re more stable, and care is fairly accessible. But the rural areas and the ability to take the care to them is where it’s becoming a challenge outside the telehealth capabilities if a patient has Wi-Fi–capable devices to have that type of interface.
H. Eric Cannon, PharmD, FAMCP: When we talk about disparities in health care, a lot of times we talk about things like income level and residency. We also have a lot of disparities in health care that exist in other classes. A great example is that I live in a neighborhood that’s probably on the higher end of middle class. Within that area, a number of people have come to me and said, “I can’t find a doctor.” The access issue impacts everyone. It may be more prevalent in some people who have a lower socioeconomic status, but it’s impacting the total population.
Depression isn’t biased. It doesn’t pick one socioeconomic class over the other. It impacts everyone equally. It may be that there are different triggers within those populations. But it’s critical as we’re putting programs together that we understand that we need to address those other socioeconomic categories of things, such as race, where people may not be getting the treatment they need. But we can’t overlook the other population that has a different need. Some of it may be simply educating about how to find a provider.
Transcript edited for clarity.