Substance Abuse Treatment & Hospital Admissions: Analyses from Washington State

Aug 2002 |
Online Library

Analyses presented here suggest that publicly funded substance abuse treatment has an effect on overall medical costs by reducing the chances of an inpatient hospital admission for those completing treatment. The main findings are: In the year following discharge from chemical dependency treatment, completing an episode of treatment was associated with a lower rate of hospital admissions: about 21 percent less. The adjusted rate of hospital admissions after treatment was 88 per 1000 clients among completers compared to 112 per 1000 clients among non-completers. The reduction in the hospital admission rate of 21% held true even for clients with very high hospital admission rates, such as those with mental health problems and those over 45 years of age. Medicaid and Medicare, together, paid for over 74% of hospital costs, which implies that reducing such hospital admissions would reduce publicly funded medical costs.

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