That’s not going to help Rock County with its exploding budget for residents needing inpatient psychiatric care.

Rock County is on pace to spend more than twice what it budgeted in 2008 to send residents to inpatient psychiatric treatment facilities such as Mendota or Winnebago mental health facilities, human services Director Charmian Klyve said.

More local, inpatient facilities that take Medical Assistance would help, Klyve said. But the proposed hospital will not have inpatient psychiatric facilities, and Mercy spokesman Rich Gruber said the inpatient psychiatric services at Mercy are not for everyone.

The county is currently running $1.6 million over budget and at this pace will spend $3.1 million in 2008 to keep people in treatment facilities, Klyve said.

That’s up from the $2.8 million estimate county officials shared with The Janesville Gazette in early June.

The county budgeted $1.5 million for inpatient psychiatric treatment in 2008, she said.

“We are taking steps in a variety of areas to decrease this amount for calendar year 2008,” Klyve said.

Having more local, inpatient psychiatric facilities that accept Medical Assistance as payment could save Rock County a lot of money, Klyve said.

Local facilities also would improve care by letting patients keep in touch with their families and community, she said.

Mercy hospital has a 12-bed inpatient unit with beds for detox and psychiatric treatment, Gruber said.

Freestanding psychiatric facilities such as Mendota or Winnebago don’t accept medical assistance, Klyve said, so the county has to pay the tab for residents to be treated there, Klyve said. Psychiatric facilities located in a general hospital facility such as at Mercy do qualify for Medical Assistance, she said.

Klyve said the county frequently considers Mercy as an option for patients needing inpatient psychiatric treatment, but Mercy’s not an option for everyone.

Mercy is set up to treat psychiatric patients who check in voluntarily, Gruber said. Police put many of the county’s patients who need inpatient treatment on an involuntary, emergency mental health hold for their own protection.

That means Mercy can’t take them, Gruber said. If the county wants to send more patients to Mercy, it would take a service agreement between the two organizations, he said.

“That would be the nature of the discussion that would have to happen to have additional resources available locally,” Gruber said.

Dean Health System and SSM Health Care of Wisconsin, the parent company of St. Mary’s, have announced they will build a $140 million hospital and medical campus on 50 acres that Dean bought in 2000 on the southeast corner of Highway 11 and Interstate 90/39.

The 50-bed hospital and adjacent physician office complex is scheduled to open in 2010.

To combat an exploding budget, the Rock County Human Services Department is looking to expand services that help people transition from a mental health crisis back to their daily lives.

The county is $1.6 million over its $1.5 million 2008 budget to send residents to inpatient psychiatric treatment at facilities such as Mendota or Winnebago mental health facilities, said human services Director Charmian Klyve.

One thing that could help the county avoid spending $1,000 per patient per day to send residents out of county for services would be to expand services provided at Jackson House, an intermediate care facility at 21 S. Jackson St., Janesville. The county is interested in upgrading the services from the eight-bed Jackson House to a 14-bed facility in the 1900 block of North Washington Street.

The buildings formerly were a senior living community and have been vacant for 18 months.

Tellurian of Madison is contracted by the county to provide services at Jackson House. Tellurian would apply for state licenses and for the building lease if the project moves forward.

Officials are meeting this week to continue talks about moving the service, Klyve said. does not condone or review every comment. Read more in our Commenter Policy Agreement

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