It's been more than eight years since Shasta County has had an operational inpatient psychiatric care center. But after a vote Tuesday by the Board of Supervisors, that will change as of January first. The added services will actually save the county money.
Health services in Shasta County started their decline in 1987.
“In 1987, when the General Hospital closed, they had to make a decision about maintaining a psychiatric hospital as a stand-alone,” said Shasta County Health and Human Services Director, Marta McKenzie.
That model lasted until 2004, when the expense of the hospital grew beyond the counties means. It was closed down. Since then, people needing inpatient care have been shipped off to other parts of the state.
Becky Kale pleaded with the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, to approve a plan that would bring inpatient care back to Shasta County.
“As a parent it is terrifying, traumatizing, to send your child, who is in crisis, to a different county where you do now know what is going on with them,” said Kale.
The board approved a plan that privatizes psychiatric care. A new company called "Restpadd" will take over both inpatient and outpatient care on a fee-for-service basis.
“It is going to increase the availability of important psychiatric services for residents in Shasta County. It is going to save the tax payers money, it is going to make the emergency rooms in our local hospitals work better,” said Donnell Ewert, Director of Adult Services.
On the average year, Restpadd will receive 3.4 million dollars from the county, but at the same time the county will be saving about $800,000.
“The main savings is that we are going to be able to close our crisis stabilization unit which is costing us net, about a million dollars a year,” said Ewert.
Not to mention, the new plan brings new health care jobs to Shasta County, instead of exporting them elsewhere...
Restpadd will take-over county outpatient services on July 1st. Inpatient services will be taken over by January 1st of next year, once the company has a new facility.