Calvert ML, Korgaonkar S, Ramachandran S, Sarver DE. Follow-up care after maltreatment: sociodemographic associations with timeliness in a southern state. Child Maltreat. 2023 Nov;28(4):634-47. doi: 10.1177/10775595221134155.

Children who experience maltreatment are at elevated risk of developing mental health difficulties. Even so, they often do not receive timely, evidenced-based mental health treatment, which may exacerbate the risk of poor outcomes. This study aims to describe the receipt of timely follow-up care after maltreatment in a southern state with known treatment shortages and aims to identify factors associated with timely follow-up care. We utilized a retrospective cohort design using 2014 Mississippi Medicaid administrative claims data for youth 0-18 years. Prevalence estimates and associations with definite and probable maltreatment (based on recorded age/injury combinations) during inpatient and outpatient healthcare encounters were evaluated. Rates of 30-day maltreatment follow-up with any medical or behavioral health provider were also assessed. Prevalence estimates of definite and probable maltreatment in the eligible study population (N = 324,752) were 0.53% and 3.8%, respectively. Only one-third of identified children received 30-day follow-up. Black and older children as well as children diagnosed with anxiety or depression were more likely to receive 30-day follow-up than younger children, white children, and children without anxiety or depression. Low rates of timely follow-up indicate the need for intentional workflow practices to increase the likelihood of follow-up.

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