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The Role of Behavioral Health Conditions in Healthcare Spending Growth 2000-2015 and Projections of Behavioral Health Related Spending

Grantee Organization

Emory University

Principal Investigator

Jason Hockenberry, Ph.D.


5/1/17 - 7/31/18

Award Amount


Approval Date

The Emory University team will pursue three aims:
1. Analyze trends in behavioral health conditions and other chronic comorbid conditions and their impact
on the growth in health spending from 2000 to 2015, using regression analysis to isolate their effects.
2. Identify the sociodemographic and income groups most affected by comorbid behavioral health and
chronic conditions and determine whether the groups’ characteristics changed after the 2007–2009
economic recession.
3. Forecast total spending for patients with a behavioral disorder, including spending related to their
chronic diseases, over the next decade.
The Emory team will use Medical Expenditure Panel Survey data for the period 2000 to 2015, coupled with
National Health Interview Survey data, to provide richer data on comorbidities and co‐occurring behavioral
conditions. The study will include all adults and sources of insurance—private, Medicare, and Medicaid.
Additional regression and sensitivity analyses will examine the policy, health, and macroeconomic forces
affecting spending trends.

By clarifying for researchers, policymakers, and health industry leaders the independent yet interactive effects of
behavioral health and chronic conditions on health spending growth, this project will point to potential areas of
reform in policy and health care delivery.

Grant Details

Publication Date: May 14, 2018