Autism Prevalence in the Medicaid Program and Healthcare Utilization and Costs Among Adult Enrollees Diagnosed with Autism

  • Krutika Jariwala-ParikhEmail author
  • Marie Barnard
  • Erin R. Holmes
  • Donna West-Strum
  • John P. Bentley
  • Benjamin Banahan
  • Rahul Khanna
Original Article


As the number of individuals diagnosed with autism increases, there is an increase in demand to provide support throughout their lifespan. This study aimed to: (1) estimate trends in the prevalence of autism diagnoses and medical services use in adults with autism diagnoses; (2) assess predictors of healthcare utilization and costs among adults with autism diagnoses enrolled in Medicaid. A retrospective analysis of 2006–2008 Medicaid claims for 39 states was conducted. There was a 38% increase in the prevalence of autism diagnoses from 2006 to 2008. Total expenditures and outpatient and ER visits varied significantly by demographic variables.


Autism spectrum disorders Medicaid Prevalence Healthcare utilization Costs 



This study was part of a larger project funded by the Organization for Autism Research and a University of Mississippi Graduate School Council Research Grant. The study was presented as a poster at the 2014 Annual Research Meeting (ARM), AcademyHealth, June 8–10, San Diego, CA.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. For this type of study formal consent is not required.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pharmacy AdministrationUniversity of MississippiUniversityUSA
  2. 2.Department of Pharmacy Administration and Center for Pharmaceutical Marketing and ManagementUniversity of MississippiUniversityUSA
  3. 3.Life Sciences, IBM Watson HealthAnn ArborUSA
  4. 4.Real World Data Analytics and Research, Epidemiology, Medical DevicesJohnson & Johnson Co.New BrunswickUSA

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