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New Research Finds Significant Increase in Utilization of Mental Health Services for Pediatric Patients in 2016 -2021

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New research from the Clarify Health Institute on pediatric mental health found that mental health services utilization for pediatric patients increased significantly between 2016 -2021.

The Institute initiated this research following reporting by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that signaled concerning trends in the mental health of American children. The study leveraged an observational, national sample of insurance claims from more than 20 million children aged 1-19 years old annually and observed several important trends in the mental health care of America’s youth in the last six years. Notably, the utilization of acute care services for mental health conditions has increased dramatically, further spiking during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The brief – The Kids Are Not Alright: Pediatric Mental Health Care Utilization from 2016 – 2021 – also found that mental health services utilization increased most rapidly among children aged 12-15. Inpatient hospital admissions among children with mental health conditions increased by 103% among commercially insured and 40% among Medicaid populations.

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