The Influence of Integration on the Expenditures and Costs of Mental Health and Substance Use Care: Results from the randomized PRISM-E Study

Ageing Int. 2008 Jun 1;32(2):108-127. doi: 10.1007/s12126-008-9010-7.


We compared the healthcare costs associated with an integrated care model to an enhanced referral model for the treatment of depression, anxiety, and at-risk drinking from the randomized Primary Care Research in Substance Abuse and Mental Health for the Elderly study. We examined total healthcare costs and cost components, separately for Veteran's Affairs and non-VA participants. No differences in total health expenditures were detected between study arms. No differences in behavioral health expenditures were detected for non-VA sites, but the VA integrated arm had slightly higher ($38; p<0.05) behavioral health costs. Differences in other types of services use were detected.