Top Reason for Child Hospitalizations in California: Mental Health
While the total number of hospitalizations among children has decreased in California over the last decade (excluding emergency room visits and childbirth), the percentage of child hospitalizations for mental health disorders has increased in recent years. In 2011, 10.5% of child hospitalizations statewide were due to mental health disorders, up from 7.8% in 2007. Mental diseases/disorders are the most common reason for hospital stays among children ages 0-17 in California, followed by asthma/bronchitis.
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These data are based on hospital discharges, according to the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development. Data also are provided by source of payment. In 2011, Medi-Cal covered expenses for about half (50.3%) of children discharged from hospitals statewide, an increase from 45.9% in 2002; private insurance covered expenses for 39.4% in 2011, a decline from 46.1% in 2002.
In 2011, 10.5% of child hospitalizations statewide were due to mental health disorders, up from 7.8% in 2007.