According to The San Diego Union-Tribune, chronic underfunding of nearly four million dollars per year was one of the reasons cited for 2018’s closure of the psychiatric units at Tri-City Medical Center. Hospital in the region lose money on every psychiatric Medi-Cal patient they treat, about 34 cents on every dollar. Sharp HealthCare, the region’s largest provider of psychiatric hospitalization services, noted that San Diego County reimbursement for Medi-Cal patients runs between $925 and $1,024 per day, but costs nearly $1,500 per day to provide care. A crisis-stabilization model, which gives patients a safe and quiet place to reach equilibrium for up to 24 hours, combined with a system to make sure they receive follow-up care on schedule, could significantly reduce the number of patients who need to be hospitalized.
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