Readmission Patterns and Effectiveness of Transitional Care Among Medicaid Patients With Schizophrenia and Medical Comorbidity.
BACKGROUND: Patients with chronic medical and mental health comorbidities are at increased risk of hospital admission, but little is known about their hospital utilization patterns or whether nurse-directed transitional care interventions have any appreciable impact on future hospitalizations. METHOD: Using paid Medicaid claims and a care management database, we examined patterns of hospital utilization for adults with multiple chronic conditions where one of the conditions was schizophrenia. Patients were enrolled in Community Care of North Carolina's medical home program and were discharged from 100 different hospitals throughout the state from July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011. We examined readmission rates after psychiatric and nonpsychiatric hospital discharges, and we compared patients who received community-based, nurse-directed, transitional care management services to patients who received usual care. RESULTS: A total of 1,717 patients were included in the final analysis. Patients in this study experienced 980 readmissions over the course of 1 year, with 20% of readmissions for a different reason than the primary hospitalization, and 36% of readmissions occurring at a different hospital. Controlling for demographic, clinical, and hospital characteristics, patients receiving transitional care (n = 1,104) were as much as 30% less likely to experience a readmission during the year following discharge compared to patients receiving usual care (n = 613). LIMITATIONS: This descriptive study reports on a nonrandomized intervention and its impact on service utilization for Medicaid patients with complex illnesses in North Carolina. CONCLUSIONS: Regardless of the reason for hospitalization, patients with chronic medical and psychiatric conditions may benefit from transitional care support that addresses both conditions. This holds true even when the patient is already receiving intensive outpatient psychiatric care.
Jackson, C; DuBard, A; Swartz, M; Mahan, A; McKee, J; Pikoulas, T; Moran, K; Lancaster, M
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