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Jada L. Brooks, Heather Beil, Linda S. Beeber
2015 April
Maternal and Child Health Journal 19(4): 790-797

Abstract

This study estimated the prevalence of maternal depressive symptoms and tested associations between maternal depressive symptoms and healthcare utilization and expenditures among United States publicly insured children with chronic health conditions (CCHC). A total of 6,060 publicly insured CCHC from the 2004-2009 Medical Expenditure Panel Surveys were analyzed using negative binomial models to compare healthcare utilization for CCHC of mothers with and without depressive symptoms. Annual healthcare expenditures for both groups were compared using a two-part model with a logistic regression and generalized linear model. The prevalence of depressive symptoms among mothers with CCHC was 19 %. There were no differences in annual healthcare utilization for CCHC of mothers with and without depressive symptoms. Maternal depressive symptoms were associated with greater odds of ED expenditures [odds ratio (OR) 1.26; 95 % CI 1.03-1.54] and lesser odds of dental expenditures (OR 0.81; 95 % CI 0.66-0.98) and total expenditures (OR 0.71; 95 % CI 0.51-0.98). Children of symptomatic mothers had lower predicted outpatient expenditures and higher predicted expenditures for total health, prescription medications, dental care; and office based, inpatient and ED visits. Mothers with CCHC were more likely to report depressive symptoms than were mothers with children without chronic health conditions. There were few differences in annual healthcare utilization and expenditures between CCHC of mothers with and without depressive symptoms. However, having a mother with depressive symptoms was associated with higher ED expenditures and higher predicted healthcare expenditures in a population of children who comprise over three-fourths of the top decile of Medicaid spending.