Search tips
Search criteria 


Logo of hsresearchLink to Publisher's site
Health Serv Res. 1991 February; 25(6): 881–906.
PMCID: PMC1065672

Characteristics of psychiatric discharges from nonfederal, short-term specialty hospitals and general hospitals with and without psychiatric and chemical dependency units: the Hospital Discharge Survey data.


Hospitalization for mental disorders (Major Diagnostic Categories 19 and 20) was examined using the 1980 Hospital Discharge Survey (HDS) data. We added to the HDS data by noting whether each hospital had a specialized psychiatric and/or chemical dependency unit, especially noting short-term specialty psychiatric and chemical dependency hospitals. Of the approximately 1.7 million episodes with MDC-19 and -20 diagnoses in the nation's nonfederal short-term hospitals in 1980, 13.5 percent were in specialty hospitals. Of the remaining general hospital episodes: 31 percent occurred in hospitals with only psychiatric units, 5 percent in hospitals with only chemical dependency units, 31 percent in hospitals with both types of specialized treatment units, and 33 percent in hospitals with neither type of unit. The last figure is much less than previously thought. The five hospital types may be arrayed on a continuum of resource utilization and severity of cases treated, with general hospitals with no special units at one end, specialty hospitals at the other, and general hospitals with psychiatric or chemical dependency units intermediate. Presence or absence of a chemical dependency unit influences a hospital's profile in this regard, particularly for MDC-20. Future studies should take into account the presence of a chemical dependency unit.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (2.3M), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Freiman MP, Mitchell JB, Rosenbach ML. An analysis of DRG-based reimbursement for psychiatric admissions to general hospitals. Am J Psychiatry. 1987 May;144(5):603–609. [PubMed]
  • Hendryx M, Bootzin RR. Psychiatric episodes in general hospitals without psychiatric units. Hosp Community Psychiatry. 1986 Oct;37(10):1025–1029. [PubMed]
  • Horn SD, Sharkey PD. Measuring severity of illness to predict patient resource use within DRGs. Inquiry. 1983 Winter;20(4):314–321. [PubMed]
  • Kiesler CA. Public and professional myths about mental hospitalization. An empirical reassessment of policy-related beliefs. Am Psychol. 1982 Dec;37(12):1323–1339. [PubMed]
  • Kiesler CA, Sibulkin AE. Episodic rate of mental hospitalization: stable or increasing? Am J Psychiatry. 1984 Jan;141(1):44–48. [PubMed]
  • Kiesler CA, Simpkins C, Morton T. Predicting length of hospital stay for psychiatric inpatients. Hosp Community Psychiatry. 1990 Feb;41(2):149–154. [PubMed]
  • Taube CA, Lave JR, Rupp A, Goldman HH, Frank RG. Psychiatry under prospective payment: experience in the first year. Am J Psychiatry. 1988 Feb;145(2):210–213. [PubMed]
  • Taube CA, Thompson JW, Burns BJ, Widem P, Prevost C. Prospective payment and psychiatric discharges from general hospitals with and without psychiatric units. Hosp Community Psychiatry. 1985 Jul;36(7):754–760. [PubMed]

Articles from Health Services Research are provided here courtesy of Health Research & Educational Trust