HMH Launches Urgent Care Center with Behavioral Health Services

Hackensack Meridian Health launches the first medically integrated urgent care center with behavioral health in the country. A major part of a comprehensive strategy to improve access, the Neptune facility will better coordinate care and innovate treatment for people struggling with mental health issues and addiction.

“This first-of-a-kind concept will help us transform behavioral health care in New Jersey and beyond,” said Robert C. Garrett, CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health. “It is so important that we give patients options for high-quality, convenient and affordable health care outside the walls of hospitals.”

Patients who use this new urgent care center will have access to a behavioral health team including mental health technicians, licensed clinical social workers, advance practice nurses and, if required, a psychiatrist via telemedicine. According to HMH, these new behavioral health services will improve treatment the following ways:

  • Increase access to treatment for behavioral health patients in an appropriate setting.
  • Provide more timely care for people who may have to wait to see a specialist.
  • Reduce the burden on already stressed hospital emergency departments.
  • Provide more coordinated and comprehensive care to improve patient outcomes.
  • Address the stigma associated with mental health by affording patients a safe and confidential place to access the care they need.
  • Provide immediate access to more intensive care it necessary.

“Everyone needs a ‘checkup from the neck up’ at certain points in life, but our current health care system doesn’t make that easy,” said former Rep. Patrick Kennedy, who joined Hackensack Meridian officials, lawmakers and other guests to celebrate the ribbon cutting. The center is located at 2040 Route 33 in Neptune, across from Hackensack Meridian Health‘s Jersey Shore University Medical Center.

“This behavioral health urgent care center is a game changer in that it acknowledges behavioral health as an essential component of overall health and makes it easy for people to connect to treatment,” said Kennedy. “Breaking down barriers to care helps everyone—individuals, families, and the community at large.”

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