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BJC HealthCare to Support Regional Mental Health

  • April 7, 2015
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ST. LOUISTo support much-needed regional acute mental health care delivery, BJC HealthCare has announced plans to assume operations and ownership of the St. Louis Regional Psychiatric Stabilization Center (PSC), a 25-bed adult inpatient acute psychiatric program located on Delmar Blvd. in the City of St. Louis. BJC’s Barnes-Jewish Hospital will operate the facility, and the Department of Psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine will provide medical direction, effective April 8, 2015. The facility’s new name will be the Barnes-Jewish Hospital Psychiatric Support Center.

PSC is a public/private partnership developed with planning assistance and start-up funding from the St. Louis Regional Health Commission and supported with funds from the Missouri Department of Mental Health. Additionally, direct financial contributions were provided by BJC HealthCare and SSM Health.

Since its opening in 2011, PSC has continued to care for higher-than-budgeted levels of uninsured patients, with nearly 50 percent of patients unable to pay for services. A temporary federal supplemental program that helped to offset losses is set to expire in July 2015.  These conditions, together with a concurrent decline in Medicaid reimbursement, have caused PSC’s financial model to be unsustainable.

“The closure of PSC would create a considerable gap in care for some of our most vulnerable populations who are in need of psychiatric services,” says Rich Liekweg, executive vice-president, BJC HealthCare and PSC board chair. “Loss of PSC’s psychiatric care would further impact the regions’ overcrowded emergency rooms, many of which do not have the capacity or facilities to appropriately serve patients in need of acute psychiatric care. The Psychiatric Stabilization Center was developed to provide this care and meet this need in the most appropriate setting for the patient.”

To accomplish the transition of care to Barnes-Jewish Hospital, BJC will be consolidating psychiatric beds from Christian Hospital in north St. Louis County into the newly formed Barnes-Jewish Hospital Psychiatric Support Center. The Center will operate 50 adult inpatient acute psychiatric beds. Christian Hospital will continue to provide outpatient psychiatric services. The former psychiatry licensed beds at Christian will transition to meet the increased demand for general medical and surgical care in north St. Louis County.

The Barnes-Jewish Hospital Psychiatric Support Center will continue to use the PSC’s location on Delmar Blvd., a modern facility specifically built to meet the needs of psychiatric patients. 

As a nationally recognized academic medical center and the City of St. Louis’ safety net hospital, we have a commitment to taking exceptional care of patients who need our expertise,” says Bob Cannon, president of Barnes-Jewish Hospital and group president of BJC HealthCare. “Mental health is no exception and we recognize the needs of these patients for continued access to high quality and appropriate care.”

The Barnes-Jewish Hospital Psychiatric Support Center will continue to provide care as PSC did for psychiatric patients in acute crisis. It is expected that 80 percent of patients treated at this location will continue to be referred from the region’s many hospital emergency departments and 20 percent will come directly to the Delmar Blvd. location seeking psychiatric care.

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About Barnes-Jewish Hospital
Barnes-Jewish Hospital is a 1,315 bed teaching hospital affiliated with Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Mo. The hospital has a 1,763 member medical staff, with many recognized as "Best Doctors in America." Barnes-Jewish is a member of BJC HealthCare, which provides a full range of health care services through its 12 hospitals and more than 100 health care sites in Missouri and Illinois.

Contact:
Jennifer Arvin
(314) 286-0301 
Jarvin@bjc.org

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