The percentage of emergency department (ED) visits for members 6 years of age and older with a principal diagnosis of mental illness who had a follow-up visit for mental illness.
The following rates are reported:
- The percentage of ED visits for which the member received follow-up within 30 days of the ED visit (31 total days).
- The percentage of ED visits for which the member received follow-up within 7 days of the ED visit (8 total days).
Why It Matters
Mental illness can affect people of all ages. Between 13% and 20% of children younger than 18 in the U.S. have a diagnosable mental illness in a given year (Perou, R. et al., 2013).). Approximately 43.4 million people, or 18% of the U.S. adult population, experience mental illness in a given year (Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, 2016).
Although ED visits are common among patients suffering from mental illness, many may be avoidable. Research suggests that follow-up care for people with mental illness is linked to reduced repeat ED visits, improved physical and mental function and increased compliance with follow-up instructions (Bruffaerts et al., 2005; Griswold, 2008; Kyriacou et al., 2005).
A study of ED visits at one hospital found that patients who failed to receive aftercare following an ED visit had 6 times higher odds of returning to the ED within 2 months than patients who received aftercare (Bruffaerts et al., 2005).
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- Bruffaerts R., M. Sabbe, K. Demyffenaere. 2005. “Predicting Community Tenure in Patients with Recurrent Utilization of a Psychiatric Emergency Service.” General Hospital Psychiatry. 27:269-74.
- Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (2016). Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States: Results from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (HHS Publication No. SMA 16-4984, NSDUH Series H-51). Retrieved from http://www.samhsa.gov/data/
- Griswold KS, Zayas LE., Pastore PA, Smith SJ, Wagner CM, Servoss TJ. Primary Care After Psychiatric Crisis: A Qualitative Analysis. Annals of Family Medicine. 2008;6(1):38-43. doi:10.1370/afm.760.
- Kyriacou D.N., D. Handel, A.C. Stein, R.R. Nelson. 2005. “BRIEF REPORT: Factors Affecting Outpatient Follow-up Compliance of Emergency Department Patients.” Journal of General Internal Medicine 20(10):938-942. doi:10.1111/j.1525-1497.2005.0216_1.x.
- Perou, R. et al. (2013). Mental Health Surveillance Among Children — United States, 2005–2011. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention- Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. May 2013: 62(02);1-35. Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/su6202a1.htm?s_cid=su6202a1_w