26 Mar Mental Health Issues Increase Hospital Readmissions
Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Dr. Ahmedani: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have begun penalizing hospitals for excessive all-cause hospital readmissions within 30 days after discharge for pneumonia, heart failure, and myocardial infarction. We wanted to determine the influence of comorbid mental health and substance use conditions on the rate of 30-day hospital readmissions for individuals with these conditions. Overall, individuals with a comorbid mental health condition were readmitted to the hospital within 30-days approximately 5% more often than those without one (21.7% versus 16.5%). Comorbid depression and anxiety were associated with a 30-day readmission rate of more than 23% each, overall.
Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Dr. Ahmedani: The main message is that health systems and clinicians should assess and treat mental health as part of their initiatives to reduce hospital readmissions. Patients should be screened for these conditions and offered during-hospitalization and post-discharge mental health care, if needed.
Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Ahmedani: Current initiatives within health systems have been able to reduce hospital readmissions overall, but have not typically included mental health components. Future research needs to test comprehensive readmissions reduction models, which include mental health screening, assessment, and treatment.
Brian K. Ahmedani, Ph.D., L.M.S.W.; Leif I. Solberg, M.D.; Laurel A. Copeland, Ph.D.; Ying Fang-Hollingsworth, M.P.H., M.S.; Christine Stewart, Ph.D.; Jianhui Hu, Ph.D.; David R. Nerenz, Ph.D.; L. Keoki Williams, M.D., M.P.H.; Andrea E. Cassidy-Bushrow, Ph.D.; Jeanette Waxmonsky, Ph.D.; Christine Y. Lu, Ph.D.; Beth E. Waitzfelder, Ph.D.; Ashli A. Owen-Smith, Ph.D.; Karen J. Coleman, Ph.D.; Frances L. Lynch, Ph.D.; Ameena T. Ahmed, M.D., M.P.H.; Arne Beck, Ph.D.; Rebecca C. Rossom, M.D., M.S.C.R.; Gregory E. Simon, M.D., M.P.H.
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Brian K. Ahmedani, PhD, LMSW (2015). Mental Health Issues Increase Hospital Readmissions