Year: 2023 Source: Professional Psychology: Research and Practice. (2023). 1-11. DOI: SIEC No: 20231727

Six states (New Mexico, Louisiana, Illinois, Iowa, Idaho, and Colorado) grant prescriptive authority to qualified psychologists, and research has shown that these policies are associated with a reduction in suicides. In this study, we assess the cost-effectiveness of these policies in reducing suicide rates. This study used a Markov model with a time horizon of 20 years to estimate the incremental net monetary benefit (INMB) of the policy from the societal perspective with a simulated cohort of 100,000 people. Transition probabilities and utilities were collected from the literature, and costs were assessed using a mixed macro- and microcosting approach. Using this approach, we found that the 20-year INMB for the policy was estimated to be $12.81 million (U.S. dollars) per quality-adjusted life year (QALY). The probability of cost-effectiveness was greater than 50% at a willingness-to-pay threshold as low as $10,000 per QALY. The probability of cost-effectiveness was only modestly associated with the implementation costs of the policy but was sensitive to the estimated effect of the policy intervention. The models estimated in this study support prescriptive authority for psychologists as a cost-effective strategy for reducing state-level suicide rates. A considerable amount of research is needed to understand the impact of this policy with finer granularity.