Background: The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the impact of a July 2008 Tennessee Court of Appeals opinion that shifted financial responsibility for juvenile court ordered psychiatric evaluations from the State to the County. Methods. We used de-identified administrative data from the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and mid-year population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau from July 1, 2006 to June 30, 2010, and an interrupted time series design with segmented regression analysis to quantify the impact of the implementation of the Court opinion. Results: In the study period, there were 2,176 referrals for juvenile court ordered psychiatric evaluations in Tennessee; of these, 74.1% were inpatient evaluations. The Court opinion was associated with a decrease of 9.4 (95%C.I. = 7.9-10.8) inpatient and increase of 1.2 (95%C.I. = 0.4-2.1) outpatient evaluations per 100,000 Tennessee youth aged 12 to 19years per month. Conclusions: The Court opinion that shifted financial responsibility for juvenile court ordered psychiatric evaluations from the State to the County was associated with a sudden and significant decrease in inpatient psychiatric evaluations, and more modest increase in outpatient evaluations.
- Interrupted time series
- Juvenile court ordered psychiatric evaluation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Policy