There’s been a sharp upswing in the number of indigent people in Nevada County needing psychiatric care. At a Board of Supervisors briefing on an item to increase money spent on acute psychiatric inpatient services, Behavioral Health Director Michael Heggarty said many of these clients are coming to them through the emergency room.
Heggarty says County Behavioral Health has been seeing a steady increase in the need for mental health services over the past 18 months, and patients who have no insurance will also be referred for inpatient mental health services when needed as required by State Law. St. Helena Hospital in Valejo is one of Nevada County’s designated hospitals for these services. Heggarty says closer hospitals in Sacramento Yuba City, roseville, and Woodland are already full. Heggarty was before the board asking to approve a $180,000 thousand dollar increase in their contract for inpatient services with St. Helena Hospital.
Heggarty says there is no impact on the county general fund. Monies for the mental health hospitalization comes from Medicare, Medi-cal, private insurance the County Medical Services Plan and mental health realignment dollars.