Approximately one in four adults in the United States suffers from mental illness each year; nearly half will develop at least one mental illness in their lifetime. There are over 2,000,000 hospitalizations each year for mental illness in the U.S. Patients hospitalized for mental health issues are vulnerable after discharge and follow-up care by trained mental health clinicians is critical for their health and well-being.
Mental Illness Hospitalization Alerts – notifications for admissions, transfers and discharges (ADTs) of patients from level-1 psychiatric hospitals – are in high demand among participants in the Arizona health information exchange (HIE). The ability to provide rapid coordination of care and assist with discharge planning upon admission to a psychiatric hospital is a key factor in reducing inpatient lengths of stay and supporting seamless transition, medication continuity and stability in community settings post-discharge.
In addition, multiple value-based incentive programs including AHCCCS’ Targeted Investments have prioritized the hospital 7- and/or 30-day follow-up HEDIS measures as an important indicator of system performance and patient well-being following an inpatient stay.
Making these important ADT alerts available to the Arizona healthcare community through the HIE has long been hampered by concerns about inadvertent disclosure of patient-identifying substance abuse treatment, diagnosis and referral information protected by 42 CFR Part 2.
Health Current has developed and tested a methodology for delivering Mental Illness Hospitalization Alerts without disclosing protected Part 2 substance abuse information by:
- Validating that a psychiatric hospital provides “mixed use” behavioral health services and does not exclusively deliver Part 2 substance abuse services. Each hospital agrees to their “mixed use” status before inclusion in the Alerting Facility List.
- Applying 42 CFR Part 2 Data Source filtering to exclude the following data elements from the ADT Alert: Diagnosis, Treating Provider and Location. Data elements contained in the Alert after filtering are: Sending Facility, Visit Type, Sending ID, Patient, DOB, Patient ID, Date, Time.
Mental Illness Hospitalization Alerts are delivered in batch files (cumulative records stored and delivered at a designated date and time: hourly, daily, weekly, monthly). Real-time alerts are in development and all participants will be notified when they become available.
HIE participants who wish to receive Mental Illness Hospitalization Alerts but have not implemented Part 2 consent must obtain patient consent to access protected data through the HIE portal.
Download the informational flyer to learn more. Arizona HIE participants who want to receive Mental Illness Hospitalization Alerts should contact their designated Account Manager or contact HIEsupport@healthcurrent.org.