Mental Health Patients Seek Entry To Skilled Nursing Facilities

Apr 03 2018

Mental Health Patients Seek Entry To Skilled Nursing Facilities

Mental health issues are an increasing topic of national discussion. A new study reveals that patients with mental health issues are statistically less likely to be admitted at higher-quality skilled nursing facilities.


mental health



Mental Health: The Study

Researchers from the University of Rochester’s Department of Public Health Sciences, investigated whether a resident’s behavioral health status affected the kind of nursing care they could receive.

The group used data on 2.8 million admissions at more than 15,000 skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) between 2012 and 2014. In addition they reviewed the CMS ( Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) Five-Star Quality Rating System data.


Mental Health: The Results

Of the total admissions, 43% had a mental health diagnosis, and 33% exhibited depression or anxiety.

Those diagnosed with mental health issues were less likely to end up at a 5 star skilled nursing facility. For instance, patients with schizophrenia or anxiety had a 10.7% opportunity at being admitted to a one-star SNF, as compared to 7.7% for other patients.

One possible reason aside from behavioral issues, is that such residents also tend to have  lower incomes with less stable family lives

In addition, patients with behavioral health conditions are more likely to live in areas with fewer five-star nursing homes.




Previous research showed that some nursing homes are more hesitant to admit patients with demonstrated behavioral issues, thus increasing the disparities over time.

Moreover, nursing home administrators may also be concerned about potential behavioral problems and their ability to deal with them.

The results of this study were published in a recent issue of the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.

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Barry G

Barry graduated from City University of New York and holds a Ph.D. in Physiological Psychology.

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