Experiment Aims To Keep People With Severe Mental Illnesses Out Of The ED.

On its front page, the New York Times (12/26, A1, Creswell, Subscription Publication) reported that an experiment in Raleigh, NC, in which paramedics take people with severe mental illnesses directly to a psychiatric facility and not to the emergency department (ED) “is being closely watched by other cities desperate to find a way to help” those with mental illnesses get the help they need without overcrowding EDs. Across the US in the year 2010, more than 6.4 million ED visits, “or about five percent of total visits, involved patients whose primary diagnosis was a mental health condition or substance abuse.” What’s more, “spending by general hospitals to care for these patients is expected to nearly double to $38.5 billion in 2014, from $20.3 billion in 2003,” according to one estimate by the Federal government.

Related Links:

— “E.R. Costs for Mentally Ill Soar, and Hospitals Seek Better Way, “Julie Creswell, The New York Times, December 25, 2013.

Posted in In The News.