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NYC public hospitals see stark increase of psychiatric patients: 5 things to know

Despite the increase in outpatient services — a national trend that suggests the number of inpatient hospitalizations will subsequently decline — New York City's public hospitals saw a sharp increase in inpatient psychiatric patients between 2009 and 2014, according to a report by the New York City's Independent Budget Office.

Here are five things to know about the report.

1. Mental health hospitalizations in public hospitals in New York City increased by 20 percent between 2009 and 2014. Over the same time period, the number of psychiatric inpatients decreased by 5 percent in private hospitals.

2. Of the 4,736 beds across New York City's public hospitals, 1,384 beds are dedicated to psychiatric patients.

3. The ratio of beds designated for psychiatric patients in public hospitals is three times larger than in private hospitals. 

4. In 2014, mental health was the single most common reason for hospitalization at NYC Health + Hospitals, which operates the public hospitals and clinics in the city,  accounting for 13 percent of all stays in in the public hospitals.

5. NYC Health + Hospitals is currently developing a plan to incorporate behavioral health services into routine medical visits and move mental health inpatient and emergency care to outpatient facilities. This plan is part of Mayor Bill de Blasio's initiatives to reduce behavioral health stigma and expand treatment options.

More articles on patient flow:
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Meeting the Staffing Needs at Saint Agnes Hospital from Day One

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