Cost of virtual pediatric mental health appointments up 20,250% since 2019

The average employer cost of a pediatric mental health appointment increased from $2 in 2019 to $407 in 2022 — an increase of 20,250 percent.

Nomi Health's "Trends in Spend Tracker" analyzed health insurance claims of 156,614 children from ​Jan. 1, 2019, to July 31, 2022, to look for changes in employer spending on various health services, according to a Dec. 8 news release from the company.


Here are four more key study findings:


  1. Healthcare for children with a diagnosed mental illness costs 69 percent more than that of those with no mental health diagnosis. 


  1. The rate of suicide attempts in children increased by 55 percent from 2019's levels.


  1. Diagnoses of depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder in children and teenagers increased 12 percent from 2020 to 2021.


  1. The prescribing rate of antidepressants or other psychiatric medications among elementary school-age children increased from 29 percent in 2019 to 42 percent in 2021. The corresponding rate among teenagers ages 16 to 19 increased from 63 percent to 66 percent in the same time period.

Nomi Health estimates mental healthcare costs among employers will hit $4,000 per patient in 2023, a 186 percent increase compared to 2019's cost of $1,400, according to the release.


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