Governor’s Office Announces Delayed Implementation of Regional Centers of Excellence Plan

From NYSPA’s Website:

On December 19, 2013, Governor Cuomo announced a delay in implementation of the Regional Centers of Excellence (RCE) Plan, an initiative to shrink the state inpatient mental health care system.

A press release issued by the Governor’s office states that no further implementation of the Regional Centers of Excellence Plan will take place until OMH, in consultation with community and mental health advocates, evaluates the effectiveness of the expanded community services on the need for inpatient beds.” The Governor also announced that three inpatient facilities, including the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center, Elmira Psychiatric Center and Greater Binghamton Health Center, will remain open until further notice and will maintain both adult and child inpatient beds. The state also plans to expand community-based mental health services for children and adolescents by establishing two new Children’s Behavioral Health Centers, one in Binghamton and one in St. Lawrence.

NYSPA strongly recommended that no downsizing occur until the state conducts a full assessment of inpatient beds including not just state beds, but also utilization of psychiatric beds in general hospitals and private psychiatric hospitals. In the NYSPA position statement on the RCE plan, NYSPA also called for “pre-investment” in community-based safety net services prior to any reduction in the state inpatient system as well as retention of essential inpatient services for children and adolescents. The latest version of the RCE Plan, released on December 12, 2013, at a meeting of the RCE Steering Committee, now calls for a pre-investment of at least $25 million of projected savings for development of community services. A copy of NYSPA’s position statement on the RCE plan may be viewed by clicking here.

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