Mass. officials: COVID patients with behavioral health conditions saw longer hospital stays
A new state report shows hospitalized COVID-19 patients with behavioral health conditions were staying at the hospital on average a day longer, and readmitted more, than COVID-19 patients without those coexisting conditions.
What's happening: The Center for Health Information and Analysis report covered the first wave of the pandemic (April-June 2020).
- Comorbid behavioral health conditions were also associated with longer stays for non-COVID patients and higher readmission levels.
Why it matters: Health care leaders are looking for ways to reduce avoidable readmissions, but the industry has historically focused on medical and surgical conditions, not behavioral health conditions, as factors, according to the report.
- This is CHIA's fifth report examining how behavioral health impacts the health care system, but the first to examine its impact during the pandemic.
By the numbers: Almost half (46%) of adults hospitalized in Massachusetts acute care hospitals had at least one comorbid behavioral health condition, representing a majority of discharges (54%) in fiscal 2020.
- This pattern continued during the first wave of the pandemic.
Readmission rates on average were 2.2 times higher for COVID patients with a comorbid behavioral health condition than for COVID patients with none.
- Readmission rates for non-COVID patients with behavioral health conditions were 1.8 times higher than for non-COVID patients without those comorbidities.
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