Transitions in Care and Service Use among Medicare Beneficiaries in Inpatient Psychiatric Facilities Issue Brief


Medicare beneficiaries in inpatient psychiatric facilities (IPFs) have complex conditions that require sustained engagement with physical and mental health care providers. People who receive care from IPFs are at risk for a range of negative health outcomes, but surprisingly little is known about their patterns of care. To fill this knowledge gap, we conducted an analysis to examine: (1) the characteristics of IPFs; (2) the characteristics of Medicare beneficiaries who use IPFs; (3) the types of inpatient and outpatient care these beneficiaries receive throughout the year; (4) the types of care they receive right before and after their IPF stay; and (5) the types of care they receive 30 days before and after their IPF stay. Most fee-for-service (FFS) Medicare beneficiaries who use IPFs have primary diagnoses of schizophrenia, major depressive disorder, and bipolar disorder, but Alzheimer's and related diagnoses are also common. Over half of the Medicare FFS population that uses an IPF is dually eligible for Medicaid. [x PDF pages]

This brief was prepared under contract #HHSP23320100019WI between the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of Disability, Aging and Long-Term Care Policy (DALTCP) and Mathematica Policy Research. For additional information about this subject, you can visit the DALTCP home page at or contact the ASPE Project Officers, Laurel Fuller and D.E.B. Potter, at HHS/ASPE/DALTCP, Room 424E, H.H. Humphrey Building, 200 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20201;

DISCLAIMER: The authors appreciate the guidance of D.E.B. Potter, Emily Jones, Laurel Fuller and Kirsten Beronio of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE). Crystal Blyler of Mathematica Policy Research provided helpful feedback on this brief. The opinions and views expressed in this report are those of the authors. They do not reflect the views of the Department of Health and Human Services, the contractor or any other funding organization. This report was completed and submitted on September 16, 2016.


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