Evaluation of Health Care Disparities for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in Ohio


The purpose of the study was to determine the acute and long term services and supports (LTSS) utilization, cost of health care and disparities in access of care for individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD). Individuals with IDD on a waiver (receiving Medicaid-funded LTSS in community settings) compared to non-IDD individuals on a waiver control group were compared using Ohio Medicaid claims data from calendar year 2013. Results found the IDD Waiver population had lower utilization rates for emergency department visits, hospital admissions, and hospital readmissions within 30 days compared to the Non-IDD Waiver population and lower PMPM expenditures across all medical service categories except pharmacy. However, the IDD Waiver population possessed greater PMPM costs for LTSS and therefore greater overall costs of care. Furthermore, 94% of IDD Waiver individuals had an episode of care for neurological conditions, with the second most frequent episode of care being for mental health services. The two most frequent episodes of care for individuals in the Non-IDD Waiver group were for conditions related to treatment (medical/surgical) and musculoskeletal conditions. The goal of this research was to investigate the health care needs of individuals with IDD that may vary from other long term care populations. The differences in health care needs for individuals with IDD require health systems and care management that is tailored to the sub-population, with an emphasis on treatment for neurological and mental health conditions. The typical focus of care management efforts on reducing unnecessary utilization of hospital services may be less relevant to the IDD Waiver population. The results of this study will be used to make recommendations regarding the unique health care needs of individuals with IDD.

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Correspondence to Julie P. Gentile.

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Amin, M.R., Gentile, J.P., Edwards, B. et al. Evaluation of Health Care Disparities for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in Ohio. Community Ment Health J (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10597-020-00669-6

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  • Intellectual and developmental disabilities
  • IDD
  • Medicaid
  • Long term services and supports
  • LTSS
  • Care management