Predictive validity of the ASAM Patient Placement Criteria for hospital utilization

J Addict Dis. 2003:22 Suppl 1:79-93. doi: 10.1300/j069v22s01_06.


We tested the validity of the ASAM Patient Placement Criteria (PPC) using the first complete and reliable computerized implementation of these criteria. Adult U.S. veterans (N = 95) seeking substance abuse treatment were blindly assessed for level of care need according to the PPC but were naturalistically assigned by counselors to residential rehabilitation (Level III) without knowledge of the PPC recommendation. Analyses compared subjects across three levels of recommended care, based on the algorithm, for utilization outcomes of VA hospital admissions and bed days of care. Subjects who were mismatched to lesser level of care than recommended utilized nearly twice as many hospital bed-days over the subsequent year (F (2;92) = 3.88; p < .05); this was unrelated to differential pre-assessment chronicity. The computerized algorithm is a promising new tool for facilitating field trials of the validity of the ASAM Criteria. A comprehensive implementation is an important methodologic requirement. These preliminary results support predictive validity for the ASAM Criteria, in that mismatching may be associated with excessive hospital utilization.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Selection*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Substance Abuse Treatment Centers / statistics & numerical data*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / rehabilitation*