Kings County Behavioral Health has been awarded just over $995,900 from the California Health Facilities Financing Authority (CHFFA) through Senate Bill 82, the Investment in Mental Health Wellness Act of 2013 for the creation of a crisis residential treatment (CRT) program. Other counties awarded CRT grants include Los Angeles, Mendocino, Sacramento and San Bernardino.
The grant will allow for the creation, for the first time, of a CRT program in Kings County, which will serve as both a crisis prevention approach for people who are escalating to a psychiatric crisis and a treatment intervention for people in a psychiatric crisis. The goal of CRT is to provide a temporary alternative to voluntary or involuntary hospitalization for persons experiencing a mental health crisis. The CRT program will provide cost effective and less restrictive services to residents 18-59 years of age who are experiencing a psychiatric crisis and are at risk of hospital, emergency or jail placement.
The grant will allow for the creation of an eight bed facility in either Hanford or Lemoore. Anticipated average length of stay for patients is estimated at 8-14 days. The eight bed CRT will have the ability to serve approximately 240 individuals annually.
The CRT will serve as a resource for local law enforcement who encounter individuals in crisis. CRT will seek to reduce overuse of jails and hospitals by providing an option to address the immediate need for care while reducing costs.
The CRT will eliminate the need for those in crisis to be placed far outside the county where family support becomes limited and instead allows for family engagement as part of the care provided and discharge planning. At this time, without a CRT, patients may wait anywhere from 16 hours to seven days for placement in a hospital or board and care outside of the county.
The CRT program will be developed to focus on language and cultural needs of the underserved or inappropriately served members of the community, including, but not limited to veterans, Latinos/mono-lingual Spanish speakers, persons 18-25 years of age, African Americans and local Native Americans.
Presently, of the 1,322 crisis cases in fiscal year 2-13-2014. 251 people were hospitalized out of county and 1,071 were discharged back to their homes. The funding to start up the CRT will come from the CHFFA. The program will be sustained with 50 percent of the funding from Medi-Cal Federal Financial Participation, Uninsured individuals will be enrolled in Medi-Cal and 50 percent of the budget will be funded through existing Behavioral Health funding, including 1991 and 2011 realignment funds, the Mental Health Services Act, cost savings/avoidance from reduction of inpatient hospitalization stays, and for those with private insurance, the HMO can be directly billed.