Excess healthcare resource utilization and healthcare costs among privately and publicly insured patients with major depressive disorder and acute suicidal ideation or behavior in the United States

Journal of Affective Disorders, 2022


This study assessed the healthcare resource utilization (HRU) and cost burden of patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) and acute suicidal ideation or behavior (SIB; MDSI) versus those with MDD without SIB and those without MDD.


Adults were selected from the MarketScan® Databases (10/2015-02/2020). The MDSI cohort received an MDD diagnosis within 6 months of a claim for acute SIB (index date). The index date was a random MDD claim in the MDD without SIB cohort and a random date in the non-MDD cohort. Patients had continuous eligibility ≥12 months pre- and ≥1 month post-index. HRU and costs were compared during 1- and 12-month post-index periods between MDSI and control cohorts matched 1:1 on demographics.


The MDSI cohort included 73,242 patients (mean age 35 years, 60.6% female, 37.2% Medicaid coverage). At 1 month post-index, the MDSI cohort versus the MDD without SIB/non-MDD cohorts had 12.8/67.2 times more inpatient admissions and 3.3/8.9 times more emergency department visits; they had 2.9 times more outpatient visits versus the non-MDD cohort (all p < 0.001). The MDSI cohort had incremental mean healthcare costs of $5255 and $6674 per-patient-month versus the MDD without SIB and non-MDD cohorts (all p < 0.001); inpatient costs drove up to 89.5% of incremental costs. At 12 months post-index, HRU and costs remained higher in MDSI versus control cohorts.


SIB are underreported in claims; unobserved confounders may cause bias.


MDSI is associated with substantial excess healthcare costs driven by inpatient costs, concentrated in the first month post-index, and persisting during the following year.

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Zhdanava M, Voelker J, Pilon D, Joshi K, Morrison L, Sheehan JJ, Vermette-Laforme M, Lefebvre P, Citrome L