July 21, 2014 | Number of The Day
Increase in substance and alcohol abuse among Medicare claims after Sandy

Healthcare Quality Strategies, Inc.has examined the Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries in the New Jersey counties most affected by Sandy and found that they suffered an elevated risk for certain behavioral health issues.

By analyzing Medicare claims data for Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, Somerset, and Union counties before and one year after the storm, they found a 2.4 percent increase in depression; 7.8 percent increase in anxiety; 10.6 percent increase in alcohol or substance abuse; and a 12.2 percent increase in PSTD.

Other findings include the fact that Hispanics had the highest rate of depression, followed by whites and blacks.