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‘Land Of Dreams’ Staggers Under The Weight Of Neuroses And Substance Abue

The great America dream-this may be the epitome of many rags- to- riches stories, but as reports show, this fast life at neck-break speed,// takes its pound of flesh too.

Recent study findings show that close to one- fourth of all hospital stays in the U.S are for those including various psychological disorders as well as substance abuse.

Says the Agency for Research Healthcare and Quality (ARHQ) which released the figures based on 2004 data ,drawn from hospitals that comprised 90 percent of all discharges in the United States: One-fourth of all stays in U.S. community hospitals for patients age 18 and older involve depressive, bipolar, schizophrenia and other mental health disorders or substance use related disorders.

These study findings represents the first documentation of the full impact of mental health and substance abuse disorders on U.S. community hospitals. According to the report, about 1.9 million of the 7.6 million stays were for patients who were hospitalized mainly because of a mental health or substance abuse problem. In the other 5.7 million stays, patients were admitted for another condition but they also were diagnosed as having a mental health or substance abuse disorder.

Regarding the economics of these findings, the government paid two-thirds of costs: Medicare covered nearly 50 percent of the stays, and 18 percent was billed to Medicaid.

Out of these figures it was seen that nearly 8 percent of the patients were not insured. Private insurers cleared the check for the balance. The study also found that one of every three stays of uninsured patients was related to a mental health or substance abuse disorder.

Says AHRQ Director Carolyn M. Clancy: “Community hospitals play an important role in the treatment of people with mental health and substance abuse disorders. This report gives health care policymakers an in-depth look at the impact of mental health and substance abus
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