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Study Reviews Readmissions in Inpatient Psychiatric Facilities

FRIDAY, May 17 (HealthDay News) -- Most Medicare beneficiaries treated in inpatient psychiatric facilities (IPFs) exhibit characteristics associated with hospital readmission, according to a report prepared for the National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems (NAPHS).

Researchers from the Moran Company, on behalf of the NAPHS, examined the issues raised by the admission and readmission patterns for IPF paid under the Medicare IPF prospective payment system.

The researchers found that most IPF patients exhibit characteristics that have been identified as risk factors for hospital readmissions (most qualify for Medicare due to a disability and are dually-eligible for Medicare and Medicaid). The primary diagnosis in 80 percent of psychiatric discharges from IPFs was schizophrenia or episodic mood disorders (including depression), both of which are considered chronic conditions. Schizophrenia and depression are known risk factors for readmissions. Those who were readmitted to IPFs were more likely to be male and tended to be younger. Of all psychiatric discharges from IPFs, 5.4 percent were readmissions that occurred within seven days and 15 percent were readmissions that occurred within 30 days. The total average length of stay was longer for those readmitted to IPFs than for those not readmitted.

"As policymakers begin to examine the broad issue of hospital readmissions, NAPHS commissioned the study to help policymakers and health care providers have a baseline for understanding the characteristics of this specialty population and unique issues that may impact their readmission patterns," Mark Covall, the president and chief executive officer of NAPHS, said in a statement.

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