Publication Date

Summer 7-15-2021


In 2016, the CareLink New Mexico behavioral health homes program began enrolling Medicaid recipients with the goal of increasing care coordination, improving access to services, and decreasing long-term costs of care for adults with serious mental illness (SMI) and children with severe emotional disturbance (SED). To evaluate these aims, a retrospective interrupted time series study using Medicaid claims data was designed. First, a comparable subset of non-enrolled individuals was selected from the pool of Medicaid recipients with SMI or SED using propensity score matching. Then, segmented regression was applied to three outcomes: total Medicaid charges, number of outpatient behavioral health claims, and incurring emergency care claims. Finally, difference-in-difference contrasts were estimated to compare the enrolled individuals’ outcomes to their own baseline and to the trajectory of non-enrolled individuals. Enrollment resulted in decreased rate of increase in costs, decreased behavioral health claims, and decreased probability of emergency health care for enrollees.

Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

Mathematics & Statistics

First Committee Member (Chair)

Yiliang Zhu

Second Committee Member

Caroline Bonham

Third Committee Member

Erik Barry Erhardt




quasiexperimental study, interrupted time series, behavioral health, difference-in-difference study, mental disorder, substance use disorder

Document Type