The Mental Health Minute

Articles and news about mental health issues

It is beginning…….

Here is an article from NBC Los Angeles that show the beginning of the end.  We should all be paying attention to this event, as the rest of the nation’s health care usually follows California’s lead.  Where will these people go?  How will these people get any help?  This is so sad.

Please go to the site and read this article in full, then come back here and leave me a comment about your thoughts on this topic, won’t you?


Psych Care at Risk in Cedars Shutdown

Cedars Sinai says it will to close most of its mental health services, worrying providers and patients.

By Sharon Bernstein
|  Thursday, Dec 1, 2011  |  Updated 4:21 PM PST

The decision by Cedars Sinai Medical Center to phase out most of its mental health services will rip a hole an already tenuous network of care, rattled providers said Thursday.

The news that within a year the non-profit hospital system would shut down its 51 psychiatric beds and release the 1,800 people who come for outpatient counseling and medication ripped through the region’s mental health community.

Free clinics braced for an onslaught of new patients, and doctors in nearby neighborhoods wondered where they would refer people in need of care.

“It’s devastating news,” said Sheila Forman, who practices in Santa Monica and is also a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County Psychological Association. “The idea that a big facility like Cedars Sinai would close its doors is a very big deal. A lot of people are in crisis right now, and they need services.”

The hospital is a major player in the region, Forman and others said. Its medical school trained hundreds of psychiatrists, and its facilities have provided internship opportunities for therapists and other professionals.

The institution accepted both Medi-Cal and most health insurance, and also offered a sliding scale for payment. That’s significant in the mental health care today, because many clinicians do not accept insurance, instead expecting patients to pay cash.

Cedars’ policy meant that not only the poor but middle class families as well were able to get in to see a psychiatrist or psychologist when they needed one.

The medical center has said that it will phase out all services not directly related to another specialty, such as cancer treatment or veterans services, within a year.

Hospital officials said the shutdown was prompted by changes in the health care system – including recent reductions in reimbursements for care provided to people who rely on Medi-Cal and Medicaid.

“At a time when the healthcare delivery system in our country is undergoing a massive transformation, every medical center has a responsibility to examine what it should focus on to ensure that it is strong over the long term to serve the community,” said Thomas M. Priselac, Cedars-Sinai’s president and CEO. “In looking at where our core strengths are in a variety of clinical and research areas, how we can best serve the community … this difficult decision needed to be made.”

The cutbacks at one of the region’s premiere medical centers can be seen against a backdrop of difficulties faced by hospitals throughout the state, said Jan Emerson-Shea, spokeswoman for the California Hospital Assn.

Earlier this fall, the administration of Gov. Jerry Brown said it would slash payments for many services covered by Medi-Cal by 10 percent. That move comes on top of expected multi-billion-dollar cuts in Medicare and Medicaid at the federal level once health reform kicks in. At the same time, many employers and insurance companies have been reducing the amount that they are willing to pay for medical services – particularly those provided by mental health professionals.

“Hospitals across California are having to really make some difficult decisions about what types of services they’re going to be able to offer in the future,” Emerson-Shea said.

In Los Angeles County, the clinics that serve the poorest residents are bracing…[read more]



December 2, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. […] From a 1 December 2011 blog item at the Mental Health Minute […]

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