Governor Christie Announces Approval Of 811 New Acute Care Psychiatric Beds

Gov. Chris Christie announced the state is developing 811 new adult acute care psychiatric beds, the largest expansion of the state’s inpatient capacity in 20 years.

The Department of Health (DOH) expects to issue another call in the near future for 53 additional beds to expand treatment in Hunterdon, Warren and Morris counties.

“These new psychiatric beds represent a 40 percent increase in the total adult acute care beds currently available in New Jersey,” said Governor Chris Christie, who called for the expansion in January as part of his commitment to provide more behavioral health care services. “There is an immediate need for inpatient care so people can get the treatment they need to get better and return to their communities. We welcome these providers as partners in expanding much-needed mental health services.”

As a condition of approval, the beds have to be available within two years. And within a year of licensure, the seven psychiatric hospitals adding beds are required to provide a minimum of five percent of their annual patient days for Medicaid patients and another five percent of patient days for uninsured patients. Acute care hospitals adding beds are required to accept all patients.

Of the 26 facilities that are being awarded adult acute care psychiatric beds, 19 are currently licensed as general acute care hospitals, and seven are either licensed as psychiatric hospitals or would be after construction.

Four of the successful applicants proposed establishment of new psychiatric hospitals: Cumberland Behavioral Health, LLC in Cumberland County; Sunrise Psychiatric  – Toms River; Hampton Behavioral Health in Monmouth; and Summit Oaks Hospital in Passaic County.

Seven of the acute care hospitals previously did not have any adult acute care psychiatric beds; two of those seven are in Salem County, a county that, until now, had no adult acute care psychiatric beds.

The bed need was determined using national benchmarks and a population estimate of 40 adult acute care psychiatric beds per 100,000 adults in each county.

The Health Department’s effort to dramatically expand adult inpatient psychiatric beds underscores the importance of the recent integration of the Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services from the Department of Human Services.

The New Jersey Hospital Association reports that emergency department visits in New Jersey hospitals increased overall by more than 117,000 patients from 2014 to 2015, and nearly 54,000 of these new cases included a mental health or substance use disorder diagnosis.

In addition to the four hospitals that involve new construction, the other 22 successful applicants are:

Newton Medical Center; Saint Clare’s Hospital, Dover; Morristown Medical Center; RWJ University Hospital, Somerset; Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care, Piscataway;  Raritan Bay Medical Center, Perth Amboy; University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro; University Medical Center of Princeton, Princeton House Behavioral Health Division; Hampton Behavioral Health Center, Burlington; Memorial Hospital of Salem County; Inspira Medical Center, Elmer, Bridgeton and Woodbury; Monmouth Medical Center; Ocean Medical Center; Bayshore Medical Center;  Summit Oaks Hospital, Union; CarePoint Health, Bayonne Medical Center; Clara Maass Medical Center;  Prime Healthcare Services, St. Mary’s Passaic; St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center, Paterson; and St. Joseph’s Wayne Hospital.

Once the additional 53 beds are approved for development, DOH will have expanded the number of additional beds to 864, the number announced by the governor in January.

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