HomeHealthMental HealthAdding needed beds for mental health: MetroHealth about to open $42M Behavorial...

Adding needed beds for mental health: MetroHealth about to open $42M Behavorial Health Hospital in Cleveland Heights

CLEVELAND, Ohio – As some of the region’s health systems shrink, MetroHealth System is expanding with the region’s largest investment in behavioral health in decades.

The $42 million, 112-bed MetroHealth Cleveland Heights Behavioral Health Hospital, which opens Saturday, Oct. 8, is expected to treat approximately 5,000 patients. one year for conditions such as bipolar disorder, depression, addiction, mood disorders and dual diagnosis, or having both mental illness and substance abuse.

Safety features, such as doors that cannot be barricaded, reduce the risk of injury. And the behavioral health hospital will have specialized units for the treatment of adolescents and the elderly.

The opening of the behavioral health hospital comes a week earlier MetroHealth opens its new 11-story Glick Center on its main campus.

The Cleveland Heights expansion will increase the number of available psychiatric beds in Cuyahoga County, but it is not enough to completely solve the problem of too much demand for too few beds. exacerbated by the impending closure of St. Vincent Charity Medical Center’s psychiatric services.

Cuyahoga County is on track to have a record number of fatal overdoses this year, and the COVID-19 pandemic increased demand for mental health care. Nearly 5 million people visited emergency rooms with mental, behavioral and neurodevelopmental disorders in 2018, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Local behavioral experts praised MetroHealth’s commitment to mental health.

“It’s fantastic. I mean, that’s the bottom line. This is great,” said Dr. Leo Pozuelo, chair of psychiatry and psychology at the Cleveland Clinic. the care our patients receive.”

Opening is because another hospital is about to close

However, the imminent loss of beds for psychiatric patients in St. Vincent and the psychiatric emergency room is putting more pressure on MetroHealth to care for the less fortunate.

St. Vincent will close inpatient care, surgery, and emergency care on Nov. 15, instead offering wellness and outpatient services at its location just south of downtown Cleveland.

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St. Vincent currently has 20 psychiatric beds and 15 detox beds, and was serving nearly 1,000 psychiatric patients by 2021, the hospital said. The Psychiatric Emergency Department, with health care providers specializing in psychiatric assessment and counseling, serves approximately 3,000 patients annually.

“We counted on (Cleveland Clinic) Lutheran and St. Vincent to look after the West Side,” said Dr. Akram Boutros, CEO of MetroHealth. “Now we have to figure out how we can increase the service.”

In view of MetroHealth’s commitment to address the social determinants of health, the hospital has located its new hospital near impoverished areas where people see the police more often than health care providers, Boutros said.

“How do I tell someone from East Cleveland to get on a bus and come to MetroHealth (the West Side) to get care?” said Boutros. “So if we were to do it (develop a bigger psychiatric unit), we’d do it in a different place.”

Shortage of psychiatric beds in Greater Cleveland

Cuyahoga County has 220 fewer beds than is needed to fully meet residents’ needs, according to national guidelines cited by MetroHealth. Economic pressures and a lack of staff contribute to the undersupply.

Many nonprofit hospitals don’t have psychiatric wards because those wards often operate at a loss, even with payments from private insurance, Medicaid and Medicare, Boutros said.

“The cost of providing behavioral health and addiction services is significantly more than you are being paid for,” said Boutros. “It’s very difficult to make ends meet for behavioral health hospitals.”

The Clinic, a major provider of beds for psychiatric patients in northeast Ohio, has 269 psychiatric beds throughout the health system, as well as 16 chemical dependency beds at Cleveland Clinic Lutheran Hospital.

Still, clinic patients sometimes wait up to 36 hours to be admitted to a behavioral health unit, Pozuelo said.

The University Hospitals system has 101 psychiatric beds and no detox or substance use beds.

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Highland Springs Hospital, a private hospital with facilities in Highland Hills and Solon, and six state-run regional psychiatric hospitals also provide care for this patient population. There are no state-run psychiatric hospitals in Cuyahoga County.

Many beds in not-for-profit hospitals are empty due to a shortage of mental health care providers to staff them.

As many as 15% of the clinic’s psychiatric beds are usually not used due to staffing issues, Pozuelo said.

Cuyahoga County has about 450 psychiatrists and addiction medicine specialists, for a population per health care provider of one health care provider per 2,795 people, according to a behavioral health professionals tracker developed by Washington University in Washington, DC

In 2019, nearly half of Cuyahoga County residents who needed inpatient behavioral health care had to go outside of the county to receive it, MetroHealth said.

Lack of adequate pay and job stress make it difficult to retain mental health workers, said Scott Osiecki, chief executive officer of the Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health administration of Cuyahoga County.

“It’s a difficult job, it’s stressful and we need people (more than) 24 hours,” Osiecki said. “They can make even more money working at McDonald’s or Walmart.”

MetroHealth anticipates staffing issues and will gradually build in the new hospital’s units as it recruits staff in the coming months. The facility is slated to reach its full 225 workforce by mid-2023, Boutros said.

The system expects to hire many of St. Vincent’s behavioral health professionals. “The faster the staff is hired, the sooner we open,” says Boutros.

MetroHealth’s Cleveland Heights Behavioral Health Hospital is designed to encourage patients to leave their rooms and eat, watch television, or play basketball in an adjacent outdoor area with others. These activities teach people with a mental disorder to function independently despite their mental state. Credit: MetroHealth SystemMetroHealth System

In the behavioral health hospital

Connected to the MetroHealth Cleveland Heights Medical Center near the Severance Town Center, the three-story, 79,000-square-foot hospital features large windows overlooking peaceful woodlands, soothing blues, and areas for communal meals.

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The Behavioral Hospital is designed to encourage patients to leave their room and eat, watch television or play basketball with others in an adjacent outdoor area.

These activities teach people with a mental disorder to function independently despite their mental state.

“When you’re severely depressed, it takes a lot of energy to get out of bed,” says Dr. Julia Bruner, MetroHealth’s Senior Vice President of Behavioral Health and Correctional Medicine. “Not only do you often need medication, but you also need an environment that encourages you to do so.”

The hospital has five units – geropsychology, dual diagnosis, mood disorder, thinking disorder and adolescents. Group therapy and other programs will address the specific needs of those different patient populations.

GeroPsych refers to delusions or other mental disorders that are exacerbated by dementia. The dual diagnosis unit treats patients with mental illness and addiction problems. Patients with a thinking disorder have hallucinations or delusions, and mood disorders are associated with depression and anxiety.

The facility is designed with patient safety in mind. Door handles, faucets and shower heads are designed in such a way that it is difficult to tie a rope to them. Bathroom doors are made of foam and attached to the wall with Velcro, so caregivers can quickly remove them to reach patients in need.

MetroHealth Behavioral Hospital

dr. Julia Bruner, MetroHealth’s Senior Vice President of Behavioral Health and Correctional Medicine, demonstrates how bathroom doors made of foam can be easily removed for patient safety at MetroHealth’s Cleveland Heights Behavioral Health Hospital. The doors make it impossible for patients to barricade themselves in the bathroom.Julie E Washington, Cleveland.com

This is not a lockdown facility. Most patients are admitted voluntarily. Another 15% of patients require hospitalization because they are at risk of harming themselves, Bruner said.

In a cost-effective move, Cleveland Heights Medical Center’s emergency room is being renovated to accommodate a psychiatric emergency room. The shared emergency rooms will connect the medical center and the behavioral hospital.

The new hospital will accept patients from other MetroHealth locations, regional hospitals, and community health organizations in Northeastern Ohio. Family and friends may also take loved ones to the Cleveland Heights Hospital psychiatric emergency room for evaluation.

“I’m all excited,” said Bruner of MetroHealth. “It’s going to be phenomenal for our community.”

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