Maine DHHS Increasing Support to Expand Capacity for Psychiatric Services in Southern Maine

02/16/2016 06:41 AM EST

 

**AUGUSTA** – The Maine Department of Health and Human Services is supporting a funding request made by Spring Harbor Hospital to reopen 12 adult psychiatric treatment beds in Westbrook.

Under this agreement, Spring Harbor will be able to function at full capacity with 100 beds available to treat those experiencing mental illness or co-occurring disorders.

“There have been far too many cases of individuals in need of inpatient psychiatric services spending countless days in hospital emergency rooms waiting for available psychiatric beds. For some, it could mean many days of waiting. While the state has long played a significant role in funding services at the two private psychiatric hospitals, Spring Harbor and Acadia Hospital in Bangor, the LePage Administration is committed to providing care to our state’s most vulnerable as quickly as possible,” said DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew.

“The re-opening of our 12-bed unit will provide access to timely treatment of acute mental health needs. Having access to more adult psychiatric beds will decrease lengths of stay in emergency departments, and provide the necessary inpatient care to smoothly transition people to the right level care in the community setting,” said Mary Jane Krebs, President of Spring Harbor.

This change will not only improve the existing process by which people receive care, but also support the mental health system within the State of Maine. As a member of Maine Behavioral Healthcare, Spring Harbor will be able to connect with other mental health providers, hospitals and primary care sites to admit patients in a timely manner with quick access to appropriate treatment.

Currently, the Hospital accommodates an average of 79 adult and adolescent patients daily. Through this funding support, Spring Harbor expects to accommodate ten additional adult patients daily in the new unit. It is important to note that State funding for opening an additional 12 beds would not be possible if the MaineCare program was still operating in a perpetual financial crisis and producing large budgetary shortfalls for Maine.

“Because of our efforts to stabilize Medicaid spending and through sound financial management, we are in a position to redirect our focus and funding to the state’s neediest and most vulnerable,” Commissioner Mayhew said.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

Samantha Edwards, (207) 287-4223 Samantha.Edwards@maine.gov

Amy Safford, (207)661-6616 ASafford@MaineBehavioralHealthcare.org

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