ADHD follow-up care lacking for children, report shows

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder aren’t getting proper follow-up care and children in Florida are worse off than others, a new report shows.

The report, released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General, showed that 66 percent of children in Florida who were in the Medicaid program and were newly prescribed ADHD medications did not receive a follow-up visit within 30 days. The national average was 59.1 percent.

The report also showed that Florida far exceeds the national average when it comes to children who don’t receive behavioral therapy.

Nationally, about 45 percent of Medicaid-enrolled children who were newly prescribed medications did not receive behavioral therapy. But in Florida, 64.1 percent of the children in the Medicaid program who were prescribed ADHD drugs did not receive behavior therapy during the time of the review.

The report recommends that the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services help develop strategies for improving rates of follow-up care for children treated for ADHD and develop strategies for states to improve follow-up rates. Also, the federal agency needs to follow up and analyze the states’ efforts, the report concluded.

The study was limited to an evaluation of Medicaid claims data and interviews with ADHD professionals. The review was for data from 2014 and 2015, the most complete data available.