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Utilization of health services among patients referred to an alcohol treatment program

This study assessed utilization of health services among 1,317 adults referred to an outpatient Psychiatry Department alcohol treatment program from July, 1988 through December, 1989. The mean number of visits/year for 1 year before and 4 years after treatment referral were compared for all outpatient clinics combined and 4 clinic subgroups; the mean number of hospitalizations and number of days hospitalized were also analyzed. Overall, utilization was higher before treatment than after, except for Psychiatry Department visits. Amount of treatment received had little effect on utilization. These results suggest that alcoholism treatment contributes to a reduction in higher cost health services utilization.

Authors: Armstrong MA; Midanik LT; Klatsky AL; Lazere A

Subst Use Misuse. 2001 Dec;36(13):1781-93.

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