This article examines racial and ethnic disparities in treatment for patients with bipolar-I disorder. Low-income, minority bipolar patients face significant hurdles navigating the health care system and in particular may have difficulty receiving second-generation antipsychotic medications.
The authors analyzed data collected by the Florida Medicaid program between 1997 and 2005, including enrollee claims for inpatient and outpatient visits and prescriptions. Their sample included 13,497 adults between age 18 and 64 with bipolar-I disorder.
This data suggests that significant disparities exist between White and Black patients in their use of antimanic medications for bipolar disease. The level of disparity does not appear to have changed significantly over the study period. No disparity was found in medication use between Hispanic and White individuals, although the Hispanic population grew rapidly in Florida over the duration of the study.