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Estimating the Cost of Preventative Services in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Under Managed Care
By Anthony Broskowski, PhD, and Shelagh Smith, MPH, CHES
December 2001

Published by: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration

This technical paper demonstrates the use of @RISK to model six different types of preventative interventions that HMOs might consider to reduce health care costs. The preventive services discussed are:

1. Prenatal and infancy home visits for high-risk mothers
2. Targeted cessation education/counseling for smokers
3. Targeted short-term mental health therapy
4. Health promotion through self-care education
5. Presurgical education intervention with adults
6. Brief counseling/advice to reduce alcohol use

The models are spreadsheet-based and include the various factors (input variables) that drive the costs of each intervention, such as professional labor and supplies. Each model includes estimates of the number of probable users, unit of service per user, and price per unit. Monte Carlo simulation was used to estimate the variability of each input variable and combinations of inputs.

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