Average psychiatric inpatient hospital admissions rose more than 8% in 2011, according to an annual survey by the National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems, which said the need for inpatient behavioral health services continues to grow.
Released Monday, the survey collected 2011 data from 262 facilities, of which 84.5% were psychiatric hospitals and the remaining 15.5% were general hospitals with behavioral health services units. The findings showed that average inpatient hospital admissions increased about 8.8% to 3,053 admissions in 2011 from 2,805 admissions in 2010, while total days of inpatient hospital care rose 18.6% to 30,269 days from 25,529 days. The average number of outpatient visits also went up, rising by nearly 9% in 2011.
Mark Covall, president and CEO of the NAPHS, said the increased demand for inpatient hospital services stems from different factors, starting with the closure of state mental hospitals, which has led to more patients needing to receive mental healthcare services elsewhere. He also said that anecdotally, he's seen a “paradigm shift” in the view of mental healthcare services since the mental health parity law was passed, which happened in October 2008.