Behavioral Health and Readmissions in Massachusetts Acute Care Hospitals

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Statewide Readmission BH Comorbidity Rates 2022 500px

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Readmissions Prevalence of BH Comorbidity 500px

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CHIA's latest report on behavioral health and readmissions, published in October 2022, found that there was a high prevalence of behavioral health comorbidities among hospitalized adults in Massachusetts acute care hospitals. Readmission rates for patients with behavioral health comorbidities were nearly twice the rates for patients without any behavioral health comorbidity.

New to the report this year, CHIA includes analysis of the prevalence, average length of stay, and readmission rates among patients with behavioral health comorbidities during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic (April-June 2020).

This report's findings suggest that policymakers, patients, families, and others in the health care community should be more aware of the increased readmission risk of any hospitalized patients with a behavioral health comorbidity, and efforts to reduce avoidable readmissions should include identifying risk factors associated with this group.

This most recent report is based on hospital inpatient discharge data for SFY 2020. The accompanying databook to this publication contains additional information, while the technical appendix provides technical details related to data sources, categorization, and analysis.


Key Findings 

    • Almost half of adults hospitalized in Massachusetts acute care hospitals had at least one comorbid behavioral health condition, representing a majority of discharges (54%) in SFY 2020.  

    • Patients with any behavioral health comorbidity had inpatient stays that were, on average, 1.4 days longer than patients with no behavioral health comorbidity (6.0 days vs. 4.6 days).

    • Readmission rates for patients with any behavioral health comorbidity were nearly double the readmission rates for patients without any comorbid behavioral health condition (20.6% vs. 10.6%).

    • From April to June 2020, among discharges with a COVID-19 diagnosis, the presence of a comorbid behavioral health condition was associated with a readmission rate 2.2 times higher than discharges without a behavioral health condition (21.2% vs. 9.6%).


Previous Behavioral Health and Readmissions Publications

Behavioral Health and Readmissions - SFY 2018
(Published October 2020)


Behavioral Health and Readmissions - SFY 2017
(Published October 2019)


Behavioral Health and Readmissions - SFY 2014
(Published August 2016)


On November 17, 2016. CHIA and Collaborative Healthcare Strategies presented a webinar that examined the ways in which behavioral health conditions influence the risk of hospital readmissions.