Psychiatric unit in Chesapeake to close/eastern regi

In a prepared statement, he said closing the unit was a difficult decision. "Unfortunately, the current health care environment does not allow for us to continue providing as many uncompensated patient services as in the past."

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I agree – this was a great cility where folks with dementia were treated with dignity. Our Dad was a patient there on multiple occasions. Sorry to see this unit go and kudos to the CRM staff for the care and support they have provided to patients and their milies over the years. This is a great loss for our region and a reminder that we need to support these smaller independent hospitals that are struggling to survive.

Eastern State has a 150-bed unit for older people, the Hancock Geriatric Treatment Center, which opened in 2008.

Arnold said the geropsych unit operated at about 84 percent capacity. Arnold said in an email that future psych patients who come to the emergency room will be stabilized and treated. "Some could remain an inpatient with increased supervision and specialized care, and for others, alternative settings will need to be chosen on a case-by-case basis."

The number of psych beds has been decreasing over the past two decades across the state and country, in part because of a preference for outpatient care. The state also has been downsizing its cilities for the mentally ill. Eastern State Hospital, eastern region mental health associationa state cility in Williamsburg that treats the mentally ill, has decreased its bed capacity by 40 percent since 2003. Emergency workers in cities say it can sometimes be difficult to locate a psychiatric bed for someone in a mental health crisis.

By Elizabeth Simpson

"I never in my wildest dreams thought this place would go away," said Dr. William Yetter, an attending psychiatrist on the unit. "We treat people no one else will take."

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Yetter said that even though that unit has been recertified, its still "extremely hard" to get someone admitted to the Hancock cility.

Well the choice s obvious for the business that is medicine. Why lose 1.5 million treating mental patients, when you can make 15 million as an ICU wing or other surgery recovery wing. Those $500 night stays rival Caesars palace in las vegas, minus the quality 😀

How ironic. There is an ad running with this story for Chesapeake Regional. It says: In touch. With what matters to you.

This is sad to see but not surprising. I mean, look at the upside – at least we have a new JAIL with plenty of beds to house these sick people.

Kay Ashby, president of the Virginia Beach chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Health, said any loss in psychiatric beds puts pressure on the community as a whole, but particularly when the cility is serving a population that is expected to grow.

Another indicator of how the government (Medicare) has decreasing regard for mental health issues. I have experienced similar problems with finding a place for my son in the pediatric mental health system. How we treat the mentally challenged is an indicator of our societal values as a whole. Sad.

The Virginian-Pilot

The cility was recertified in March after losing $8 million in federal funding through the Medicare system.

Most of the patients care on the unit is funded by Medicare, the federal insurance for people 65 and older. Dixon said a 2008 change in the reimbursement formula led to losses for the hospital.

That unit, though, lost its certification for seven months starting last ll because of inspections that pointed to lapses in patient care.

Elizabeth Simpson, (757) 446-2635, elizabeth.simpson@pilotonline.com

He said the Chesapeake geriatric unit not only serves people in Hampton Roads but also has treated patients from North Carolina and other parts of Virginia.

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This unit had (has) a phenomenal reputation throughout the state and region. CGH as a whole is an ok (at best) hospital, but this unit was their flagship. The CEO is shooting himself in the foot.

Sentara Norfolk General Hospital has 34 adult psychiatric beds, with 12 of them designated for geriatric patients. However, the geriatric unit there has been closed since February because of staffing issues. Sentara spokeswoman Becky Lawson said the geriatric unit will reopen in July when a new psychiatrist comes on board. Sentara Obici in Suffolk also has 10 adult psych beds. Bon Secours Maryview Medical Center in Portsmouth has 34 psychiatric beds for adults.

The sadness and dismay that I feel knowing this tremendous resource will no longer be available. As one who has labored many times trying to find treatment options for the elderly with mental illness, Chesapeake was always the first choice, and by r the most suitable and effective. The lead article in todays , about streeting mentally ill persons says it all: where in the world do you find treatment beds for someone who is older, with several medical issues, and has mental disorders? I can all but guarantee that no private hospital in this area will accept them. This is a loss that cannot be underestimated, and I can only hope that Chesapeake Regionals board will come to understand this.

When will we get our priorities straight and start dealing with issues for what they are? It is unfortunate that some of the people who are helped by this system will now become members of the criminal justice system. 🙁

This is a sign of the times and a precursor to more of the same in all fields of health care related services. ObamaCare won and Medicare lost, but this is America and Obama is not a king. Vote for somebody else in 2012 and retake American values….(this message has been approved for Pilot readers )

He said inpatient care stabilizes people who become disoriented and violent and helps them live safely in their homes or in long-term care cilities.

I am very sad to hear of this. I would like to know what we as a community are going to do with the geriatric psych. patients that need this speciality team of care partneers over at Chesapeake Regional Hospital. I would like to thank all staff on this unit, it takes special people to oversee the care and to fully understand the difficulty that milies go through with thier loved ones and I would like to thank them for taking the time to meet all of thier care needs. This is a great loss. This behavioral unit has helped many of our geriatric patients when others have turned them down. The doctors on this unit are hands down the best around. The staff on the unit have went above and beyond all of the others. With tears in my eyes Thank You.

About 40 people work on the unit, and Chesapeake Regional spokeswoman Sara Arnold said most of the employees will be able to move to a different unit or be retrained. She said plans for the unit are not complete, but the beds will most likely be converted to medical or surgical beds.

Remember, there is no money to be made in a cure for a disease, only money to be made on the treatment. Which is probably why nothing has been cured since something like smallpox.

"I have no idea where they will go," he said.

Gino Colombara, executive director of the Southeastern Virginia chapter of the Alzheimers Association, said the unit will be a huge loss for the community his organization serves: "This is a growing population, and theres a need for that type of support."

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PsychiatriPsychiatric unit in Chesapeake to close/eastern regic unit in Chesapeake to close/eastern regi,Wynn Dixon, president and CEO of the hospital, said the Geropsychiatric Unit – the largest such program in the region – lost $1.5 million during the past three years, because of a 2008 change in federal Medicare funding.

Often, older people with mental health issues also have other conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes or heart issues, so it can be tricky giving them proper medication. Also, people with conditions such as Alzheimers disease sometimes become combative or violent because of their confusion, and nursing homes often transfer such residents to the unit to stabilize them and adjust their medication.

On Monday, staff members of the unit were informed and new admissions stopped. The unit currently has 18 patients, and the average stay is seven to 10 days. The geriatric unit opened in 1989 and treats people 55 and older who have mental health issues. That includes people who have long-standing mental health problems, and also people who have developed dementia disorders as they aged.

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© June 7, 2011 In an era when psychiatric beds are hard to come by, Chesapeake Regional Medical Center announced Monday it will close a 24-bed psych unit for older people on July 15.

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