Reduction in Healthcare Utilization and Costs Following Residential Integrated Treatment for Co-occurring Substance Use and Mental Health Disorders

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of residential, integrated treatment for co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders on healthcare utilization and costs. More specifically, we compared pre- and post-treatment utilization of emergency room (ER) services and hospital stays for medical, mental health, and substance use problems.

Methods: Data from 1,394 patients who attended private, residential treatment for co-occurring disorders and participated in follow-up data collection at 6 months were analyzed using chi-square and t-tests to evaluate what changes, if any, occurred pre and post-treatment in regard to ER and hospital overnight utilization.

Results: Significant reductions in the number ER visits and overnight stays were realized across the three services domains examined: medical, mental health and substance use.

Conclusions: Private, residential treatment for substance use and mental health disorder support an overall reduction in the utilization and costs of acute care services such as ER visits and hospital overnight stays.

By: Siobhan A. Morse and Brian E. Bride

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