Genesis Announces Mental Health Service Expansion Plans
On December 12, 2013 Genesis Health System announced plans for a $138.5 million modernization of its flagship hospital, Genesis Medical Center, Davenport.
At that time, Genesis President and CEO Doug Cropper reported that the goal of the project is two-fold. “First, Genesis will consolidate nearly all short-term, acute services, such as surgical services, on the expanded East Rusholme Street campus. And when complete, that consolidation will create the opportunity for expansion of our long-term, acute services on the West Central Park campus. Most notable among those long-term, acute care services is behavioral health and physical rehabilitation,” Cropper said.
With East Campus construction well underway, on October 12, 2014 Mr. Cropper announced Genesis had engaged Texas-based Horizon Health in a management agreement to maximize the growth potential and financial performance of the Genesis behavioral health service line. Mr. Cropper reported: “This agreement enables the future expansion of behavioral health services in response to growing community need, including geriatric, adult and child and adolescent psychiatric service offerings. Nationally recognized as a leader in behavioral health services management, Horizon Health will help us better serve the community going forward.”
In response to recent inquiries by local officials, Genesis today announced specific growth plans for its behavioral health service line.
Genesis Medical Center, Davenport President Jordan Voigt reported that the expansion is now underway and will take approximately two years to implement. Mr. Voigt noted that the timetable for service expansion is largely dependent on board-certified physician and other staff recruiting efforts as well as regulatory compliance.
A national search is now underway for psychiatrists. “Of course the issue is not just ‘beds.’ It’s staffing,” he underscored. When complete, the Genesis program will include the following inpatient and outpatient program services:
• Adult Inpatient Unit -- Continued operation of an 18-bed intensive psychiatric hospitalization program designed to serve individuals 18-64 years of age who demonstrate acute mental illness and exhibit behaviors or intentions to harm themselves or others.
• Geriatric Inpatient Unit -- An intensive psychiatric hospitalization program (estimated 20 beds) designed to serve individuals 55+ years of age who demonstrate acute mental illness and exhibit behaviors or intentions to harm themselves or others. The “illness” may include -- but is not limited to -- psychiatric conditions that are exacerbated or intensified due to mental, physical or cognitive disorders.
• Child and Adolescent Inpatient Unit -- An intensive psychiatric hospitalization program (estimated 7 – 10 beds) designed to serve individuals 6-17 years of age who demonstrate acute mental illness and exhibit behaviors or intentions to harm themselves or others.
• Adult Intensive Outpatient Program -- An intensive outpatient group (6-8 individuals) therapy program for adults 18-64 years of age who require daily treatment, but not overnight hospitalization.
• Geriatric Intensive Outpatient Program -- An intensive outpatient group (6-8 individuals) therapy program for adults 55+ years of age who require daily treatment, but not hospitalization.
• Outpatient Psychotherapy Clinic -- A program of ongoing psychotherapy clinics designed to provide longer-term services to families, couples, individuals and groups.
• Outpatient Crisis Stabilization Services -- A short-term, immediate outpatient intensive day service program for those in severe emotional stress who require intensive treatment, but not hospitalization.
• Outpatient Medication Clinic -- A resource clinic designed for those who require medication “follow-up” following an inpatient discharge or other treatment course.
At a news conference, Mr. Voigt and other Genesis officials toured the new geriatric behavioral health unit that is now scheduled to open on or about October 15.
“Our first priority in this larger expansion plan is a specialized unit designed to meet the behavioral health needs of older adults,” Voigt said. “Older adults are the fastest growing population segment in the Quad Cities and their mental health needs require specialized care.”
Ultimately, this unit is expected to grow to 20 beds. But, will open in October with six beds.
“As we migrate more short-term acute services from our West Central Park campus to our expanded East Rusholme Street campus, we can accelerate renovation and growth here on West,” Voigt added.
Commenting on the Genesis plan, Horizon Health V.P. for Operations Troy Mire said: “Horizon Health has over 30 years of experience in the delivery of quality, outcome-based inpatient and outpatient services to adults, seniors, adolescents and children. Based on our extensive understanding of the industry, we believe that the Genesis strategy for behavioral health services growth is appropriate for the Quad City region. While the strategy is aggressive given the scarcity of psychiatrists and other mental health care professionals nationwide; we believe it can be accomplished over the next two years and Horizon Health is committed to helping Genesis do so.”
Mr. Voigt reiterated: “The challenge we face as a community is not simply a shortage of beds. The greater challenge is the growing nationwide demand for more psychiatrists and other mental health therapists.”
According to 2015 data provided by the American Medical Association, there are approximately 28,250 psychiatrists in active practice across the nation today, and nearly 40% of those are located in California, New York, Texas, Pennsylvania and Florida, the five most populous states with the highest Medicare reimbursement rates.
Elsewhere in the nation, there are now nearly 4,000 federally designated "mental health professional shortage areas," including nearly 200 in Iowa and Illinois. In fact, Iowa is one the nation’s five worst performing states for access to psychiatrists on a per capita basis.
Making matters worse, only 15% of the nation’s psychiatrists specialize in treating children and adolescents. Also in demand are "culturally literate" psychiatrists for minorities and those willing to work with prisoners, substance abusers and parolees with severe personality disorders or histories of sexual deviance. And, the future is not very bright.
While nearly 38% of all practicing physicians are age 55 or older, in psychiatry nearly 55% are in this age range, ranking psychiatry among the oldest group of physicians.
“Nonetheless, now ranked among the best hospitals in the nation for quality and safety; partnered with industry leader Horizon Health; and offering renovated, state-of-the-art facilities: Genesis Medical Center is very well-positioned to recruit new physicians to the region,” said Mr. Voigt.
In closing, Genesis Health System President and CEO Doug Cropper said: “For almost 150 years, the nearly 7,000 men and women who work and volunteer at Genesis every day in service to the community have lived our mission of ‘compassionate, quality health services for all those in need’. Going forward, we will continue to do so as we expand and increase our services to meet the changing needs of the people of the Quad Cities region. We believe that not-for-profit providers, like Genesis, with a long history of service to the community, are best positioned to address these needs. We are, after all, neighbors caring for neighbors motivated not by corporate profit, but genuine concern.”