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University of South Florida · College of Behavioral & Community Sciences · Mental Health Law & Policy


Key Personnel:
Mary I. Armstrong, M.S.W., M.B.A.
Kathleen A. Dailey, M.Ed.
Robyn Spittle, M.S.P.H.

Evaluation of Florida's sub-acute inpatient psychiatric program (SIPP): Report 2

Publication Date: 6/1/2001

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With the approval of a 1915(b) waiver by the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA), in the spring of 1999 the State of Florida implemented the Sub-Acute Inpatient Psychiatric Program (SIPP) in two regions of the state. The waiver allowed the state to offer an alternative, sub-acute treatment program for clinically eligible children under the age of 18 who are high utilizers of inpatient psychiatric services. The objective of SIPP is to provide an intermediate level of care for high-risk youth and to reduce the utilization and costs of inpatient psychiatric care in general hospitals for children under the age of 18. HCFA's waiver approval required that the state arrange for an independent evaluation of SIPP; the Agency for Health Care Administration requested that the Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute conduct the evaluation.

This report covers the final component of the evaluation of the original SIPP program and model. This study is designed to describe the impact of the SIPP model on post-discharge treatment patterns by comparing the post-discharge patterns of care and cost of SIPP enrollees with a comparable sample of high-risk youth statewide that were discharged from a general hospital inpatient program. The study compares individuals discharged from SIPP with youth discharged from an inpatient psychiatric program in terms of their rates of psychiatric inpatient readmissions, inpatient lengths of stay, patterns of post-discharge utilization of community mental health services, and cost of post-discharge services. The study also provides demographic and diagnostic information regarding the SIPP enrollees. An analysis of Medicaid claims data for 72 SIPP enrollees and a matched comparison group of similar youth statewide was conducted to address these evaluation questions. In order to control for the amount of time that youth in the SIPP and comparison samples received services post-discharge, participants were grouped into three follow-up intervals of 6 months, 3-6 months, and 0-3 months beginning with their discharge dates.