Depression affects 1 in 10 U.S. adults. People with depression have higher rates of chronic conditions such as obesity and diabetes, increased work absenteeism, short-term disability, and decreased productivity. Early screening is important because symptoms usually improve with treatment and therapy.
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Percentage of Primary Care Physician Office Visits that Include Depression Screening
All data were derived from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS). Data are gathered about physicians through in-person interviews, and about visits by abstracting information from the visit record. Assumptions were made that if Medicaid or Medicare were selected as an expected payment source then they would be the primary source of payment. If a visit had Medicaid or Medicare as payment type, then the individual's insurance was coded as either Medicaid or Medicare (even if other private insurance was listed). Only 4% of Medicaid recipients listed private insurance as another payment source; whereas approximately 45% of Medicare recipients listed private insurance as another payment source. If both Medicare and Medicaid were listed as payment type, then the individual was coded as dual eligible. Numerator: All visits to physicians in the specialties of general/family practice, internal medicine, pediatrics, and obstetrics/gynecology for which depression screening was ordered or provided at the visit. Denominator: All visits to office-based physicians in the specialties of general/family practice, internal medicine, pediatrics, and obstetrics/gynecology.
Inclusion Criteria: NAMCS limits providers to the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Visits to physicians in primary care specialties are included.
Exclusion Criteria: NAMCS excludes visits to physicians in the specialties of anesthesiology, pathology, and radiology.
Visits to Nurse Practitioners, Certified Nurse Midwives and Physician Assistants in Community Health Centers were gathered beginning in 2006 but were excluded from this analysis to allow for trends including 2005 data.
Missing Data: Due to small sample sizes and the reliability of some estimates, data is not available for all years for all population categories displayed on this page.
This measure is calculated by the CDC/NCHS/DHCS from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS) data.