CHIA: Co-Morbid Behavioral Health Issues Complicate Readmissions

On Halloween, the Centers for Health Information and Analysis (CHIA) released its second report on behavioral health and readmissions in Massachusetts acute care hospitals. The report examines both the prevalence and readmission rates of adult patients with co-morbid behavioral health conditions hospitalized between July 1, 2016, and June 30, 2017.
CHIA found that 45% of adults hospitalized in Massachusetts acute care hospitals had at least one co-morbid behavioral health condition in FY2017, and that co-morbid behavioral health conditions among hospitalized Medicaid adults was 63%.
The co-morbid mental health conditions with the highest prevalence were mood disorders and anxiety disorders, at 26% each. The co-morbid substance use disorders with the highest prevalence were alcohol- and opioid-related disorders, at 9% and 6%, respectively. Readmission rates for patients with any behavioral health co-morbidity were nearly double the readmission rates for patients without a co-morbid behavioral health condition (21.1% vs. 10.8%).
“While hospitals cannot control many of the factors that lead to patients returning to their facilities, it is still absolutely imperative for hospitals to play a leading role in reducing unnecessary readmissions,” MHA said in a statement. “Today’s CHIA report provides helpful data to inform these ongoing efforts.”