Yesterday, Strategic Behavioral Health (SBH) announced plans for a psychiatric hospital in the Madison area to open by late summer 2019. It would provide 72 beds, cost $15 to 20 million, and offer inpatient and outpatient services.
According to county officials, the hospital would meet the long-established need for an alternative to a trip to Winnebago State Hospital for persons suffering from a psychotic episode and the police who accompany them. It would also provide many of the services offered by a crisis restoration center. Click here to read David Wahlberg’s article in the Wisconsin State Journal.
SBH has an entrepreneurial and ambitious approach to mental health services. Its website offers this invitation:
“We are currently seeking opportunities to bring services to areas where there is an identified need. We are looking for places where Strategic Behavioral Health can be a good provider and also a good community citizen. Please email our home office to discuss opportunities.”
Since 2006, Strategic Behavioral Health has opened centers in 11 cities, primarily in the south and west. Willow Creek Behavioral Health Center in Green Bay, which opened in January 2017, was the first site in the mid-west. According to SBH’s website, the company offers a full range of mental health and substance abuse services to just about any kind of client in need.
Funding mechanisms–the perpetual issue for mental health service providers–are less clear. SBH offers this guidance on its website.
“With payments often times being the last item patients and their families want to address, we make it a point to keep all involved parties informed while keeping the focus on treatment and recovery. Strategic Behavioral Health works with most major insurance companies and is able to work with each individual to determine the best approach for covering the cost of treatment.”
Private insurance will not cover costs for many of the people who might need a crisis restoration center or other mental health services. It is likely SBH will be competing with existing service providers for state and county funds. Let’s hope it is a “good provider and good community citizen” and that competition turns out to be a good thing.