Risk for Suicide among Medicaid beneficiaries

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Demographic, diagnostic, and service expenditure characteristics of Florida Medicaid enrollees who died by suicide were investigated. Among persons receiving Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), findings indicate the most powerful predictors of suicide were involuntary psychiatric examination, mental health hospitalization, and high mental health service use. Among Medicaid enrollees not receiving SSI, strongest suicide predictors were mental health hospitalization, high expenditures for physical health medications, and involuntary psychiatric examination. Findings suggest reducing involuntary psychiatric examinations and mental health hospitalizations while improving physical health may reduce suicide in the Medicaid population. Comprehensive hospital discharge planning, adherence monitoring with follow-up care, training mental health providers in assessing suicide lethality, and providing adequate assessment time are all crucial to achieve these objectives.

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Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, v. 39, issue 2, p. 172-81