Major depression diagnoses have risen, according to a study of medical claims by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. Find out which populations suffer the most.
Major depression is a complex condition that has a vast impact on overall health and wellness. It is critical to effectively screen, diagnose, treat, and manage this condition when it begins in order to improve health, according to a new study.
The report, “Major Depression: The Impact on Overall Health,” based on medical claims data from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Health Index, is a collaboration between the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBS) and Blue Health Intelligence, which uses claims data from Blue plans across the country. The data set includes a deep pool of integrated medical and pharmacy claims, reflecting medical utilization in every ZIP code. It shows how major depression diagnoses are linked to other chronic health conditions.
The BCBS Health Index, which was refreshed in March, shows that major depression is the second most impactful health condition despite relatively low prevalence compared to other top conditions like hypertension, high cholesterol, coronary artery disease, and diabetes. It shows the toll this condition takes on people who are diagnosed with it. Often people with major depression suffer from other conditions.
This was the twentieth study of the “Blue Cross Blue Shield: Health of America report Series,” which aims to uncover key healthcare trends, including affordability and access to care.
The report found:
Other unique findings
“Screening, prevention and treatment options for major depression should be openly discussed as a way to help de-stigmatize it,” says Ginny Calega, vice president for medical management and policy, Independence Blue Cross.
Calega offers these three recommendations to healthcare executives: