Enhancing Access to Essential Behavioral Health Care
Lancaster Behavioral Health Hospital set to open
Nearly one in every five people, or 43.8 million American adults, has a diagnosable mental health condition. In Lancaster County, more than 30,000 adults have been diagnosed with a condition, about the same as those diagnosed with diabetes.
To meet the growing community demand for emergency, inpatient and outpatient behavioral health care, LG Health and partner Universal Health Services began construction in 2017 on a new, $30 million hospital in Lancaster City’s northwest.
When it opens in summer 2018, the 126-bed Lancaster Behavioral Health Hospital will include Lancaster County’s only behavioral health unit designed for adolescents. Other specialty units will serve older adults and people with medical conditions, dual diagnoses and substance-abuse problems.
The 76,000-square-foot hospital will triple the number of behavioral health beds available through LG Health. Other critical services include day-treatment programs, which will enhance existing outpatient services in the region.
LG Health also expanded the number of integrated behavioral health counselors at its primary-care practices and instituted annual screenings for depression and other mood disorders. Patients are asked to complete a simple Patient Health Questionnaire during an office visit. Physicians now immediately refer patients to an LG Health behavioral health specialist, ensuring prompt access to coordinated, standardized care. Additionally, a community level copay assistance program was implemented to increase support for those who need help paying for behavioral health care.
“Improving access to behavioral health services is an identified community need and priority for Lancaster General Health,” LG Health President and CEO Jan L. Bergen said at a groundbreaking ceremony for the hospital in May 2017. “This facility will help accommodate the demand for mental health services in Lancaster and surrounding counties.”
Coordinating behavioral health and medical care can improve clinical outcomes and increase care quality, while reducing cost and increasing patient and provider satisfaction. Collaborative patient-centered care strengthens the care LG Health provides for patients and improves the well-being of the community.