Effects of Prior Authorization of New Medications among Medicaid Beneficiaries with Bipolar Disorder

The researchers evaluated the effects of prior authorization of new medications among Medicaid beneficiaries with bipolar disorder in the state of Maine. As part of their study, they: (1) described baseline demographic and clinical characteristic and patterns of treatment; (2) examined the impact of prior authorization on utilization and expenditures of preferred versus non-preferred atypical antipsychotic (AA) agents and anticonvulsant (AC) agents among patients continuously enrolled for the entire study period in Maine and New Hampshire (comparison state); and (3) examined the impact of prior authorization on rates of hospital admission and rates of cessation of all medical treatment, two potential adverse outcomes. The objective of the project was to examine the effect of prior authorization, an increasingly popular drug utilization management policy for patients with chronic mental illness, on medication use and associated outcomes.