Healthcare utilization among patients with psychiatric hospitalization admitted through the emergency department (ED): A claims-based study.
OBJECTIVE: To characterize the US national level healthcare utilization patterns of patients with commercial insurance plans before and after a psychiatric hospitalization admitted through the emergency department (ED) using insurance claims data. METHOD: We identified 34,250 patients from multiple commercial health insurance providers across the US who meet our eligibility criteria. We summarized their healthcare encounters and used logistic regression models to study the patterns of healthcare utilization including prior visits, outpatient follow-ups, and hospital- or ED-readmissions. RESULTS: Suicidal ideation was highly prevalent at the time of the index event (29.88%). Almost half of the patients (48.28%) had healthcare encounters with the same primary diagnosis one year before admission, about 5% had outpatient follow-ups or were readmitted to the hospital or ED 7 days post discharge. The post 30-day follow-ups and readmission rates were slightly higher. In general, older patients were less likely to have prior visits, follow-ups, or readmissions, and patients with SUDs, specifically alcohol dependence, opioid dependence/abuse, and stimulant dependence, were more likely to have outpatient follow-ups. CONCLUSION: Patterns of patients' prior visits, follow-ups, and readmissions varied by demographics and psychiatric comorbidity. Additional studies are needed to further explain the spatial variations of utilization patterns.