Twenty beds could open up at the state hospital by moving geriatric patients into nursing homes that would be paid $45,000 per bed and a daily rate more than twice Medicaid. Hospitals are being offered $200,000 for each in-patient involuntary bed they add. The goal is to create 20 more designated receiver facility beds. The state is already working with Hampstead Hospital for children’s care and is actively negotiating with out-of-state partners, which could open another 10 state hospital beds.
Instead of waiting for the 10-year mental health plan to kick in, Lori Shibinette, the commissioner of Health and Human Services, said it’s clear services need to start now, and that it means reaching further into communities to be part of the solution. The state Supreme Court ruled this week that patients flagged for involuntary admission must be allowed a hearing within three days and not wait indefinitely for a psychiatric bed to open up.
“We could stand up 50 beds in a matter of weeks, if our partners come to the table,” Shibinette said. New Hampshire is offering a $12 million incentive program to end the crisis of boarding mental health patients in hospital emergency rooms.
The commissioner said there are people that have been waiting in emergency rooms beyond three days. Some are going to probable cause hearings or are agreeing to be admitted, and she’s not aware of anyone who has been released who shouldn’t have been. Source “We have been working with our partners for the last four years, and like I said, many of them have come to the table, but some of them are content with doing the status quo,” Shibinette said. “We are not accepting the status quo anymore. We want innovation and creativity when it comes to solving this problem.”
The plan is to add 30 more transitional housing beds by raising the rate to community mental health centers by $4 million over the biennium. “Some of our families here in New Hampshire already access services for their kids out of state, so we’re just formalizing the process with some of our out-of-state partners to make sure that we have enough capacity for kids,” Shibinette said.
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