January 21, 2016
A recent study found that hospital readmission rates and associated medical costs are high for patients with schizophrenia.
The study by Chi and colleagues looked at data from the Taiwanese National Health Insurance Research Database on patients with schizophrenia who were hospitalized from 2001 to 2010 (N=808) and compared data from patients who were readmitted of the course of 10 years (n=570, 70.5%) to patients who were not. Researchers found that the median time between admissions was 1.9 years. However, 25% of subjects were readmitted within 4 months of the first hospitalization.
There were also a number of patients who had multiple readmission during the 10-year follow-up period with 13% having 2, 9.5% having 3, 5.6% having 4, and 22.4% had 5 or more. Data did not show a correlation between sex, age, and length of initial stay to readmission.
There was a large cost difference associated with readmission. The study found that for patients who relapsed total medical costs were $22,438; for patients with schizophrenia who did not relapse costs were $ 6771, and for the control group costs were$ 2324 during the 10 years follow-up period.
According to Chi et al, studies exploring “effective interventions to decrease the relapse rate and therefore lower the medical costs” are necessary.
Reference: Chi MH. The readmission rate and medical cost of patients with schizophrenia after first hospitalization - A 10-year follow-up population-based study. Schizophr Res. 2016;170(1):184-90.