Trends Over a Decade for a General Hospital Psychiatry Unit

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Abstract

This study examines the composition and delivery of services in a general hospital inpatient psychiatry unit during a 10-year period. Multiple regression techniques were used to assess the association of clinical, insurance, and demographic data with length of stay and likelihood of readmission for all admissions from 1985–1993. Two variables became progressively associated with readmission—Medicaid and psychotic diagnosis. The results indicate that: (1) the hospital is increasingly treating a poorer, sicker group of patients with shorter lengths of stay and more readmissions, and (2) the rise in readmissions, particularly within vulnerable populations, could represent an inadequate length of initial treatment. Future research should further investigate the generalizability of these results and implications for quality of inpatient care.