BHP initiative reduces hospital delay days by 22% in two years

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At Wednesday’s Behavioral Health Partnership Oversight Council meeting, Value Options, DCF, DSS and eight hospitals announced remarkable progress in reducing the number of HUSKY children in discharge delay at hospitals, ready to leave but waiting for appropriate outpatient behavioral health care. The initiative aligned performance incentives across providers and administrators. During 2007, before the initiative, there were 43,493 child-days in delay. By 2009 delay days were down 22% to 33,744. During those same years, enrollment in the program grew by 8% and total admissions rose by 19%. Over the two years the percent of discharges that were delayed dropped by 32% and the average length of delay dropped by 58%. Delay status is not the only indicator that improved, acute length of stay was down 14%. Value Options credited staff at all the agencies and hospitals with focusing attention and hard work on ensuring that every child has an appropriate place to get care. The reductions in delay status were not accompanied by any change in readmission rates suggesting that the movement to outpatient care was effective and permanent for most cases. Congratulations to all involved for their dedication to make the system work for kids.
Ellen Andrews