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    More Than One-Third of Tricare Patients Have Limited or No Access to a Psychiatrist, Study Finds

    More Than One-Third of Tricare Patients Have Limited or No Access to a Psychiatrist, Study Finds

    Roughly 35% of U.S. personnel, retirees and family members lived in areas that had few to no military or civilian psychiatrists from 2016 to 2020, with retirees and those residing in rural or low-income areas notably having the least access, a study has found.

    Worse yet, 6% of Tricare beneficiaries resided in areas with no psychiatrists, according to the research, published Jan. 3 online at JAMA Network Open.

    Researchers reviewed nearly 40,000 communities by ZIP code to determine the availability to Tricare beneficiaries of psychiatrists within a 30-minute drive, as well as the geographic locations and demographic characteristics of those with the least access.

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    Overall, Tricare patients living in urban areas as well as Southern California, the upper Midwest and Northeastern United States had better access, while those in rural communities, particularly in the West, were nearly seven times more likely to have inadequate access than urban areas.

    Low-income communities with high levels of income inequality were nearly three times as likely to have no access to a psychiatrist, noted the researchers, led by Marigee Bacolod of the Department of Defense Management at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.

    The military health system includes a network of Defense Department medical centers, hospitals and clinics,…

    Continue Reading This Article At Military.com

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