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Hospital Readmissions for Psychiatric Conditions

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has released two new reports focused on psychiatric readmissions.

The first is a statistical brief looking at readmission rates for psychiatric conditions. It indicates the 30-day readmission rate for schizophrenia in 2012 was 15.7%, while it was 9% for primary diagnoses involving mood disorders. This compares to a 3.8% readmission rate for all other non-mental health/substance abuse conditions.

The second report comes from AHRQ’s Effective Health Care Program. It identifies and evaluates the research on strategies to reduce hospital readmissions for psychiatric conditions. It found availability and implementation of strategies varied widely and concluded more research is needed to determine which are most effective, especially in settings with varying resources.

Psychiatric readmissions are probably undercounted, according to the report. More research on ways to accurately measure the most meaningful outcomes for psychiatric conditions is also needed.

In 2012, nearly one quarter of U.S. adults experienced some form of mental or substance abuse disorder.


Heslin KC and Weiss AJ. Hospital readmissions involving psychiatric disorders, 2012. HCUP (Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project) Statistical Brief, no. 189, May 2015. http://www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov/reports/statbriefs/sb189-Hospital-Readmissions-Psychiatric-Disorders-2012.pdf

Gaynes BN and others. Management strategies to reduce psychiatric readmissions. Effective Health Care Program Technical Brief no. 21,  May 21, 2015. http://www.effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov/ehc/products/596/2082/psychiatric-readmissions-report-150521.pdf

Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

One Response

  1. I think psych readmissions are extremely dependent on outpatient psych care. It’s really not enough to do inpatient psych care without organizing and possibly supporting outpatient psych care.

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