Mental health visits high in Hawaii's hospitals

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - HONOLULU (AP) - A new study of Hawaii's hospitals shows more patients were hospitalized for mental health issues in 2011 than any other preventable cause.

The state's Community Health Needs Assessment released Wednesday shows mental health causes accounted for more than 5,000 hospital visits in Hawaii in 2011. That's well above the next highest cause, heart failure, with nearly 3,000 visits.

The hospitalization rates are one measurement in a report designed to help the vast majority of Hawaii's hospitals set priorities over the next few years. The assessment was required for nonprofit hospitals under President Barack Obama's sweeping health care overhaul.

President George Greene of the Healthcare Association of Hawaii says the study sets benchmarks for hospitals to measure progress against every three years.

All but 2 of Hawaii's 28 hospitals participated.

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