Carson Health shuts inpatient behavioral health department


By Elisabeth Waldon • Last Updated 11:40 am on Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Carson Health’s Inpatient Behavioral Health Department at Carson City Hospital will be closed Dec. 31.

CARSON CITY — Carson Health’s Inpatient Behavioral Health Department will be closed Dec. 31.

Hospital officials made the decision Sept. 25, based on the department’s financial performance over the past several years.

The closure of the department, which has been in service for 27 years, will result in the elimination of approximately 15 full-time positions, which a hospital press release says equates to approximately 25 employees.

“This has been a hard and very thought-out decision that needed to be made,” Carson Health President Matt Thompson said. “We know that discontinuing this service line is a loss to the communities that we serve; however, the volume has not met the budgetary needs of Carson Health for the past several years. We are very proud of the associates and programs that they have offered to individuals over the past 27 years. We hope to celebrate the years of service and dedication this department has provided. The associates are highly trained and compassionate in their field. We have been honored to have exceptional psychiatrists on staff and to be a part of a highly rated resident rotation program.”

Hospital officials say Carson Health has experienced a decline in reimbursements due to the impact of cuts from the federal budget sequestration and ongoing changes related to healthcare reform. Additionally, hospital officials say a stagnant economy and low regional growth has caused a decline in patient volume.

“In an effort to maintain our community-based services, Carson Health has proactively worked to reduce spending on supplies and equipment, implement best practices, standardize processes and improve productivity,” a press release stated. “Unfortunately, these efforts haven’t been enough to meet our significant decrease in patient volumes. These reductions will help the organization strengthen its position for future growth. Carson Health will continue to focus on the patient experience, safety, quality and growth. The closing of this service line will not impact the quality of care provided at Carson Health.

“Efforts are underway for securing seamless avenues for servicing those in our community that may need inpatient behavioral health services,” the press release stated. “Carson Health will maintain the Outpatient Behavioral Health program and will continue to look for ways to increase growth.”

Hospital officials did not return a message seeking additional details.

The job loss news comes less than four months after Carson Health eliminated 56 positions in mid-June. Those reductions were blamed on federal budget cuts and healthcare reform changes.

According to hospital officials, the hospital lost $400,000 over the past year due to the federal sequestration. Carson Hospital, which sees an average of 175 to 200 inpatient admissions per month, saw an inpatient decrease of 20 to 25 percent.

Carson Health is comprised of Carson City Hospital (a 77-bed acute care hospital) and 10 family practice affiliates in Ashley, Carson City, Greenville, Fowler, Ithaca, Lyons, Maple Rapids and Stanton.

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