San Luis Obispo County’s solely psychiatric hospital serving low-income people will quickly change fingers.
The SLO County Well being Company is finalizing a contract with a third-party supplier to take over its 16-bed Psychiatric Well being Facility (PHF), an inpatient unit that primarily serves grownup Medi-Cal sufferers.
A closing contract for the transition can be introduced to the SLO County Board of Supervisors at a December assembly.
“Our hope is someday in the summertime [of 2023] make the transition to the brand new supplier delivering the companies,” stated Appearing Well being Company Director Nick Drews. “The state has fairly just a few PHFs which might be run privately or by non-profit organizations and never by a county particularly . It has change into increasingly more of a pattern.”
The choice to outsource the PHF is a few decade outdated, division leaders stated. New Instances. They attribute latest challenges in operating an in-house PHF to a scarcity of native psychiatrists.
“It is actually exhausting to seek out psychiatrists to come back dwell right here,” stated Anne Robin, the county’s director of behavioral well being. “The county employees that labored on our unit are terrific. They do a fantastic job. Psych protection has been a problem.”
Robin added that recruiting psychiatrists for the PHF is particularly troublesome as a result of the county competes with the California Males’s Colony and Atascadero State Hospital for a similar docs.
“For the county-based psychiatrists, many need to work for these two state entities,” he stated.
And whereas outpatient places of work can flip to telemedicine if needed, inpatient models require a psychiatrist to be on-site always, placing the ability in a relentless staffing bind.
“We see individuals in psychiatric disaster who want a really excessive stage of care,” Robin stated, “who come to us for therapy as a result of they’re a hazard to themselves or others, or are unable to offer them with meals, shelter and garments”. on account of his psychological sickness.
One of many principal advantages of utilizing a third-party service for PHF is best psychiatric protection, based on Drews. Most personal contractors function a couple of PHF and subsequently have extra physicians on employees to deploy.
“Having an organization with a bigger group to attract from is a profit, as a result of it is going to be a lot simpler for them to discover a psychiatrist than it’s for us,” Drews stated.
The transition places the roles of practically 30 county workers in danger. Robin and Drews stated the county will work exhausting to attach PHF employees with the brand new operator or discover them totally different roles in different county departments.
PHF is simply the newest facility in SLO County to show to the personal sector for companies. In 2019, the county jail privatized well being care following a sequence of jail deaths and lawsuits over insufficient care.
Earlier this yr, the SLO County grand jury investigated the PHF as a part of a report that discovered deficiencies all through the county’s psychological well being care system.
Robin inspired the neighborhood to remain concerned within the psychological well being dialog and hopes extra individuals will be a part of the sector.
“I am glad the necessity for psychological well being companies is getting consideration as a result of, as we have seen, there is a rising want locally and throughout the nation,” Robin stated. “We need to encourage people who find themselves keen on psychological well being to get into the sector as a result of we actually have to retrain our workforce.” Δ