Texas Insight COVID-19 Digest: May 21, 2021

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Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services CMS Data Shows Vulnerable Americans Forgoing Mental Health Care During COVID-19 Pandemic. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released data today highlighting the continued impact the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) is having on Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) beneficiaries and utilization of health services.  The data show that, from March through October 2020, beneficiaries have foregone millions of primary, preventive, and mental health care visits due to the COVID-19 PHE, compared to the same time period in 2019. Although utilization rates for some treatments have rebounded to pre-pandemic levels, mental health services show the slowest rebound. This decline in utilization is occurring at a time when preliminary evidence shows mental health conditions have worsened nationwide. The gap in service utilization due to the PHE, particularly for mental health services, may have a substa

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