Check out the blog post by Lindsay Wallace, NAMI’s executive director, for excellent reporting about the psychiatric hospital/crisis restoration center proposed by Strategic Behavioral Health (SBH). Click here for a link.
Lindsay addressed the concern that SBH is a for–profit company. Here is what she reported:
“There are distinct differences between not-for-profit and for-profit psychiatric facilities but SBH says their approach to care delivery is the same; they ensure all referring/community professionals, consumers, caregivers, and families are involved in the consumer’s treatment and recovery plan every step of the way.
I have reached out to other NAMI affiliates across the country who have SBH facilities in their community to see what their experiences have been in regards to care coordination and quality of care. In each instance, I received positive feedback. Our hope is SBH will deliver on this promise in Dane County as well. It is, of course, something we will monitor closely.
When it comes to service to patients who are unable to pay, SBH said they provide services regardless of ability to pay. They are able to do so because of the individual mandate through the Affordable Care Act. Those who have coverage are charged higher costs for services, making it possible for SBH to not turn away uninsured and underinsured patients – a practice we understand non-profit facilities utilize as well. Of course, there are concerns around the sustainability of such a practice with current tax reform efforts that include a repeal of the individual mandate.” NOTE: As of 12/19, the individual mandate appears over.
Lindsay also raised these questions:
Will SBH have discretion over who they accept for inpatient treatment or must they accept referrals sent to them by the county?
Will SBH be required to serve people who are court ordered into treatment?
Will the contract with SBH establish requirements for discharge planning and linkages with community services?
Will SBH have the capacity to treat the physical health needs of people they serve, including preventive health services such as smoking cessation?
Will SBH’s performance be assessed on measures such as clinical outcomes, screening for metabolic disorders, coordination of mental and physical healthcare services, use of aversive measures such as restraints and seclusion, screening and treatment for alcohol or substance use, number of patients discharged on multiple antipsychotics and justification, and how quickly patients are seen in the community after discharge?
Click here for a link to NAMI-Dane County. Lindsay is planning a forum with SBH in the spring.
UPDATE: JUDGE EVERETT MITCHELL WILL BE THE KEYNOTE SPEAKER AT NAMI’S ANNUAL AWARD BANQUET. He will speak about decriminalizing people with mental illness. Date is April 5, 2018. Check the website for NAMI-Dane County for details.