Mobile, AL (PRWEB) February 10, 2014
Mobile-based AltaPointe Health Systems received a 20-0 vote yesterday in Montgomery before the Statewide Health Coordinating Council (SHCC) in opposition to a request for a rule change to the State Health Plan.
Tennessee-based Strategic Behavioral Health filed an application before the SHCC requesting a rule change to allow an additional 72 inpatient psychiatric beds in Mobile County.
AltaPointe filed opposition to Strategic Behavioral Health’s proposed rule change before the SHCC based on the lack of need for additional psychiatric beds in Mobile County. Currently, there are 184 psychiatric beds in the Mobile region with an occupancy rate of 47.7 percent, reflecting that less than 50 percent of available psychiatric beds are being utilized.
“Our position all along has been that there’s no need for additional beds in Mobile County and that allowing these beds could have a detrimental impact on a system that is currently serving the needs of mental health patients in this region,” said Tuerk Schlesinger, CEO of AltaPointe.
“I was pleased with the support we received from many folks that made the trek to Montgomery today in support of AltaPointe and the services we have provided for many, many years in the Mobile region. Our goal is to continue that legacy for years to come.”
Joining Schlesinger and other AltaPointe employees in opposition to the application before the SHCC Friday was Department of Mental Health Commissioner, Jim Reddoch; Probate Judge of Baldwin County, Tim Russell; Administrator at Children’s & Women’s Hospital at the University of South Alabama, Owen Bailey; among many others.
Dr. Sandra Parker, AltaPointe’s Chief Medical Officer and Vice-Chair of Psychiatry at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine provided the SHCC members with a thorough overview of the current mental health system in place in Mobile County and the lack of need for additional beds.
She also discussed the role AltaPointe plays in the local community in terms of not only providing a quality mental health system in the Mobile region, but its continued commitment to training future physicians in mental health care, including a number of residents from the University of South Alabama.
“We are thrilled with today’s outcome and feel a great sense of pride in the fact that the members of the SHCC so overwhelmingly agreed with our position,” said Schlesinger. “Every day we commit ourselves to helping the patients of Mobile, Baldwin and Washington counties receive the care they need and deserve – regardless of their income or situation. The system we now have in place does an excellent job of meeting the needs of these psychiatric patients. I believe today’s unanimous vote by the SHCC members affirmed that for us, and we are grateful.”