In 1971, budget restrictions in New York State provided the impetus for the transfer of 2,174 patients among state hospitals in the mental hygiene system. The discharge rate was greatly increased over what would have been expected, but varied greatly among the receiving hospitals. The major factor relating to this difference appears to be the values and beliefs of the receiving hospitals as to the proper placement of patients.
The patient's return to the hospital after discharge did not relate to a liberal discharge policy, but seemed to depend on whether or not the patient was physically healthy and could meet minimal social role expectations. Factors usually associated with probability of discharge are analyzed, but while some, such as age, affect chances of discharge, none are as potent predictors as the type of hospital.