The Role of Mental Health Disease in Potentially Preventable Hospitalizations: Findings From a Large State

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Abstract

Background:

Preventable hospitalizations are markers of potentially low-value care. Addressing the problem requires understanding their contributing factors.

Objective:

The objective of this study is to determine the correlation between specific mental health diseases and each potentially preventable hospitalization as defined by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Design/Subjects:

The Texas Inpatient Public Use Data File, an administrative database of all Texas hospital admissions, identified 7,351,476 adult acute care hospitalizations between 2005 and 2008.

Measures:

A hierarchical multivariable logistic regression model clustered by admitting hospital adjusted for patient and hospital factors and admission date.

Results:

A total of 945,280 (12.9%) hospitalizations were potentially preventable, generating $6.3 billion in charges and 1.2 million hospital days per year. Mental health diseases [odds ratio (OR), 1.25; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.22–1.27] and substance use disorders (OR, 1.13; 95% CI, 1.12–1.13) both increased odds that a hospitalization was potentially preventable. However, each mental health disease varied from increasing or decreasing the odds of potentially preventable hospitalization depending on which of the 12 preventable hospitalization diagnoses were examined. Older age (OR, 3.69; 95% CI, 3.66–3.72 for age above 75 years compared with 18–44 y), black race (OR 1.44; 95% CI, 1.43–1.45 compared to white), being uninsured (OR 1.52; 95% CI, 1.51–1.54) or dual-eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid (OR, 1.23; 95% CI, 1.22–1.24) compared with privately insured, and living in a low-income area (OR, 1.20; 95% CI, 1.17–1.23 for lowest income quartile compared with highest) were other patient factors associated with potentially preventable hospitalizations.

Conclusions:

Better coordination of preventative care for mental health disease may decrease potentially preventable hospitalizations.

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