Contra Costa County Chosen For Federal Program To Improve Psychiatric Care

SACRAMENTO (KCBS)— Contra Costa and Sacramento counties have been chosen to participate in a federal pilot program aimed at improving psychiatric services while reducing costs.

Under the three-year program, federal Medicaid reimbursement would be made available to medical facilities that currently do not receive such payment for the treatment of psychiatric emergencies.

Patricia Ryan of the California Mental Health Directors Association said often times people in psychiatric emergencies are brought to a general acute care hospital that may hot have the capacity to handle them or may not have enough beds.

KCBS’ Dave Padilla Reports:

“They could be referred to John Muir [Medical Center] except there’s no payment that’s associated with that,” she said.

Ryan said John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek is part of the program and that it’s strictly for adult psychiatric patients who often wait in emergency rooms until they can be transferred to another medical facility that specializes in psychiatric treatment.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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