Calif. Docs Worry State Psych Hospital Staffing Shortage Could Harm Care

Some California doctors worry staffing shortages at state psychiatric hospitals are harming patient care.

Los Angeles Times: Psychiatric Hospital Workers Warn Of Short Staffing 
Doctors at a second state psychiatric hospital have complained that staffing shortages are so severe that the care of patients and safety of workers are at risk. In an April 19 letter to state hospital officials, psychiatric staffers at Atascadero State Hospital raise "grave concern" over what they called an "increasingly severe shortage of psychiatrists at the hospital" (St. John, 5/28).

In Vermont, the state's largest health insurer and psychiatric hospital will integrate mental health care with traditional care.

The Associated Press: Vt. Health Insurer And Psych Hospital Team Up
The state's largest health insurance provider and largest private psychiatric hospital have formed a new company that will help integrate traditional health care with mental health and substance abuse services, officials said Tuesday. Vermont Collaborative Care initially will help administer mental health and substance abuse services for 190,000 customers of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont by taking advantage of the expertise of the private psychiatric hospital, the Brattleboro Retreat, but it could be expanded eventually to serve other health insurance companies (5/28).

This is part of Kaiser Health News' Daily Report - a summary of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations. The full summary of the day's news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.