Behavioral Health and Readmissions in Massachusetts Acute Care Hospitals

Publication Materials


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Main Hospital Readmissions Web Page

Based on the hospital inpatient discharge data for SFY 2018, CHIA's research, published in October 2020, 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.

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.

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

    • Forty-five percent (45%) of adults hospitalized in Massachusetts acute care hospitals had at least one comorbid behavioral health condition in SFY 2018 (July 1, 2017-June 30, 2018).


    • Over sixty percent (62%) of hospitalized adult Medicaid patients had a comorbid behavioral health condition.


    • Patients with any behavioral health comorbidity had inpatient stays that were, on average, 1.4 days longer than patients with no behavioral health comorbidity (5.7 days vs. 4.3 days).


    • Readmission rates for patients with any behavioral health comorbidity were nearly double the readmission rates for patients without a comorbid behavioral health condition (20.4% vs. 10.5%).

Statewide Readmission Rate and Behavioral Health Comorbidity, SFY 2018

(Click to enlarge)

Previous Behavioral Health and Readmissions Publications

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.

See Main Hospital Readmissions Web Page