Current estimates are that treatment of schizophrenia is associated with more than $155.7 billion annually in the U.S., a figure that includes $9.3 billion in “incremental direct medical costs and $117.3 billion in incremental indirect costs such as unemployment.”

At the same time, integrated healthcare is fast becoming a popular delivery model, but can it deliver schizophrenia care?

That was the question posed by Oleg Tcheremissine, MD, of Behavioral Health, and colleagues from Atrium Health, both in Charlotte, North Carolina. They provided answers in a poster presented at Psych Congress 2019.

They conducted a retrospective analysis comparing a cohort of schizophrenia patients (1,733) to determine their utilization of healthcare resources. All patients were identified in a query of Atrium Health’s database of medical records.

Among the findings:

  • Patients with schizophrenia consume a substantial amount of healthcare services — including inpatient visits for comorbid, non-schizophrenia conditions.
  • There are “high rates of inpatient visits, readmissions, and ER visits and low rates of 30- ,60-, and 90-day follow-up outpatient visits with an associated schizophrenia/mental health diagnosis after inpatient visits indicating a need to re-evaluate health management strategies in these patients.”