Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders of childhood, affecting more than 6.4 million US children aged 4–17 years. Although ADHD is usually first diagnosed in childhood, it often lasts into adulthood. ADHD is a serious public health concern because of its high prevalence; chronic nature; significant impact on school performance, family life, and peer relationships; and estimated annual cross-sector costs of $38–72 billion. ADHD cannot be cured, but many treatment options exist, including parent training, school accommodations and interventions, medications, and behavioral intervention strategies. State law and public (e.g., Medicare, Medicaid) and private health insurance reimbursement policies are often designed to guide physicians toward best practices for ADHD treatment while also affecting a patient’s access to these treatment options.

Page last reviewed: April 18, 2019