Changes in health care funding have greatly enhanced the value of
consultation-liaison services to their parent hospitals. This paper reviews
representative studies showing that consultation-liaison interventions
improve patient care, enhance patients' satisfaction with treatment, and
reduce polypharmacy, adverse drug reactions, and subsequent
hospitalizations. Reductions in costs of hospitalization realized by
consultation-liaison interventions are also described, including average
reductions in hospital stays of one to one and a half days, upgrades in
diagnosis-related group (DRG) codes, and timely patient transfers to
inpatient medical-psychiatric units or inpatient psychiatric facilities.
These data suggest that consultation-liaison services will become
increasingly important over the next few years.