PRINCETON, N.J., Oct. 18, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Patients with mental health and substance use disorder needs accountfor nearly half of the growth in hospital emergency room cases in New Jersey hospitals and are far outpacing the overall growth in emergency department use.
Emergency department visits in New
"We know that treating people in a mental health crisis in the emergency department can place stress on the patient; it's simply not the right setting to handle their complex needs," said Betsy Ryan, president and CEO of NJHA. "At the same time, it places increased strain within the emergency department, adding to overcrowding, long waits and increased healthcare costs."
The report uses billing codes to identify cases with a mental health condition or substance use disorder as a primary or secondary diagnosis. Key findings in the report include:
Often the ED has been the only option to get guaranteed care for the uninsured and underinsured, but despite increased levels of health insurance coverage, a growing number of patients use hospital EDs for treatment.
"One positive takeaway from this new data is that more of these individuals in need of care are covered by health insurance, thanks largely to Medicaid expansion in our state," said Ryan. "It's great that these New Jerseyans are covered by insurance, but we also need to make sure they have access to appropriate behavioral health services, in the right setting – and that setting should not be the emergency department."
The Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Volume Report is part of NJHA's ongoing advocacy to strengthen the state's system of care. Increasing access to care in appropriate settings will result in better outcomes for patients, reduced demands on emergency personnel and a reduction in the cost of care to the system.
A copy of the full report, including information broken down by county, payer and age, is available on the NJHA web site at http://www.njha.com/quality-patient-safety/behavioral-health/.
To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/njha-report-mental-health-and-substance-use-accounts-for-nearly-half-of-growth-in-hospital-er-volume-300346835.html
SOURCE New Jersey Hospital Association (NJHA)
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