BCBS Study Shows Major Depression on the Rise

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association recently released a study from their Health of America Report that indi- cates a disturbing rise in major depression diagnoses amongst its members over the past few years.

The report states the major depression diagnoses have increased 33% from 2013 – 2016. The trend seems to be affecting younger people most, with the diagnoses increasing 63% and 47% for adolescents and millennials re- spectively. The report also notes a strong link between major depression and chronic health conditions, and that women are twice as likely as men to be diagnosed.

Mental health screenings are generally included in Medicare’s quality reporting tools. Providers are encouraged to watch out for mental health warning signs, especially for vulnerable populations, and make referrals when appropriate.

The BCBSA Health of America Report uses the BCBS Health Index, a claims data program that pulls informa- tion from 40+ million BCBS members nationwide, to generate its health reports. To read the full study article, click here

Brandon McCurdy