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New state policy tightens Osawatomie admissions

Associated Press - December 6, 2014 7:07 pm

New state policy tightens Osawatomie admissions

A new Kansas policy that limits the number of psychiatric patients admitted at Osawatomie State Hospital has mental health workers concerned that patients could end up in jails instead of hospital beds.

The policy was initiated this week after federal regulators threatened to cut off Medicare and Medicaid funds to the hospital if it doesn’t fix its overcrowding problems by Feb. 13.

The Kansas City Star reports Osawatomie is approaching capacity and no longer will accept patients who voluntarily commit themselves. The hospital says it will triage patients who are involuntarily committed because they pose a threat to themselves or others.

Mental health advocate Kyle Kessler says the policy will leave many mental health centers searching for resources that have grown scarce as more psychiatric facilities have closed.

City of Salina