The Effect of Community Mental Health Services on Hospitalization Rates in Virginia

Psychiatric Services, Vol. 62, pp. 194-199, 2011

Virginia Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper No. 2011-08

16 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2011 Last revised: 16 Mar 2011

See all articles by Tanya Wanchek

Tanya Wanchek

Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service, University of Virginia

Elizabeth L. McGarvey

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Richard J. Bonnie

University of Virginia - School of Law

Date Written: March 1, 2011

Abstract

This study examined the relationship between the availability of mental health outpatient services provided by 40 publicly funded community service boards (CSBs) and the use of inpatient mental health treatment among Medicaid recipients. Methods: Three-year data were obtained for Medicaid recipients aged 18-64 from the Medicaid claims database for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Medicaid recipients who had a mental disorder diagnosis and who had received at least one community mental health service were included in the sample. A multivariate regression model was used for the analyses. Results: Of the 11,107 individuals included, 27% had schizophrenia-related disorders and 32% had affective psychoses; 60% were white and 37% were black; and the average age was 4.31±13.1 years. In this sample, greater use of outpatient mental health services, but not greater variety of services available, was correlated with fewer inpatient hospital days for mental health treatment (-1.0±.2 days of hospitalization). Conclusions: Virginia’s CSBs provide a range of outpatient mental health services that are designed to enable individuals to remain in their community. The availability of community-based mental health services was correlated with lower rates of inpatient hospitalization for mental illness. More research, however, is needed to establish causality and to determine which services are most effective at reducing the need for inpatient care.

Keywords: mental health, temporary detention, civil commitment, voluntary, involuntary

Suggested Citation

Wanchek, Tanya Nicole and McGarvey, Elizabeth L. and Bonnie, Richard J., The Effect of Community Mental Health Services on Hospitalization Rates in Virginia (March 1, 2011). Psychiatric Services, Vol. 62, pp. 194-199, 2011; Virginia Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper No. 2011-08. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1766045 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1766045

Tanya Nicole Wanchek

Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service, University of Virginia ( email )

2400 Old Ivy Road
P.O. Box 400206
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States

Elizabeth L. McGarvey

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Richard J. Bonnie (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - School of Law ( email )

580 Massie Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States

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