Bipolar disorder during pregnancy indicates hospitalization of newborn Medicaid recipients

Bipolar disorder during pregnancy indicates hospitalization of newborn Medicaid recipients

People suffering from bipolar disorder usually need treatment for their unusual shifts in energy and mood levels that make it difficult for them to carry on with their daily chores. The situation becomes tricky if women are detected with bipolar disorder during their pregnancy. A recent study has revealed that the impact of bipolar disorder on expectant mothers increases the risk among Medicaid toddlers of being admitted to hospital within a span of six months of being discharged after birth.

The study, titled “Hospital Admission and Emergency Department Utilization in an Infant Medicaid Population,” said that the main predictor of hospitalization was seen in patients who were admitted for some time in the neonatal intensive care unit. Other factors like the frequency of visits of a pregnant woman to the Emergency Department (ED) and the frequency of being admitted increased the probability of hospitalization of infants after birth.

The study, published in the journal Hospital Pediatrics in October 2016, observed that infants whose year of birth fell between 2009 and 2012 were not regularly included in claims data. The findings showed that nearly 6 percent mothers were hospitalized due to diagnosis of bipolar disorder during pregnancy, 14 percent showed signs of depression and 31 percent exhibited symptoms of existing mental illness.

The scientists observed that manifestation of a mother’s mental disorder during her child-bearing period increased the chance for repeated hospitalization of her infant or frequent visits to Emergency Department within the first six months of birth. Stressing on the findings, study author and clinical leader, Women and Children’s Service Line, Christiana Care Health System, Dr. David Paul, said, “Re-hospitalizations and Emergency Department visits are stressful to the family and costly to the payer.”

Toddlers of Medicaid patients at increased risk of hospitalization

It was observed that during the first year of life, approximately 4.4 percent to 9.5 percent toddlers were re-hospitalized. A higher probability of re-hospitalization was found in case of Medicaid patients compared to others using medical services with private insurance. The researchers found that during the study, 4 percent toddlers were hospitalized again in a month and 11 percent in six months. After the discharge, 11 percent infants came to the Emergency Department within a month and 41 percent within six months.

Elucidating the nature of the findings, one of the co-authors and HealthCore research manager Abiy Agiro said, “Respiratory-related problems were the predominant reason for use of the Emergency Department and re-hospitalization. Newborns who had spent some time in the NICU were most likely to be re-hospitalized after being sent home.”

Need to come up with specific interventions

The observations of the study are important as they indicate that Medicaid programs need to come up with specific interventions toward distinct populations of mothers to improve the health of infants and their mothers. This, in turn, would help do away with repeated hospitalizations and visits to the ED.

Emphasizing on the importance of observations made in the study, Delaware Department of Health and Social Services Secretary Rita Landgraf said, “We know that feeling unprepared for parenthood is associated with increased infant hospitalization and use of the Emergency Department.” She added that it was important for hospitals and doctors to come up with methods to support new parents, especially those battling mental health problems.

Recovery road map

If you or your loved one is suffering from any mental health problem, consult the Colorado Mental Health Help for mental health rehab in Colorado. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number 866-899-5063 or chat online to understand all about the mental health programs and to know about our various mental health treatment in Colorado.