Columbia St. Mary’s Cuts Outpatient Mental Health Services

Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:35 pm

However, those services already are being provided by other clinics in the Milwaukee area, said Dr. William Henricks, executive director of behavioral medicine for Columbia St. Mary’s. "We have an opportunity to not have duplicate services," he said. "Rather than compete, we chose to form partnerships with these clinics."

The services help people with a variety of mental health issues stemming from abusive relationships, alcohol and drug dependence, anxiety and panic disorders, personality disorders, depression, eating disorders, unresolved grief issues, depression, bipolar disorder and sexual dysfunction.

The outpatient services primarily consist of patients visiting a psychiatrist and receiving medication or talking to a therapist about their problem and receiving counseling.

The move allows Columbia St. Mary’s to focus on what it does best, providing inpatient services to patients with more serious mental health problems, Henricks said.

"We will specialize in acute levels of care," he said. "This is an opportunity for us to be a little more efficient."

Columbia St. Mary’s will continue to provide inpatient mental health services for patients who are staying overnight, day treatment mental health services for patients receiving care for more than 12 hours a week at the hospital and intensive outpatient mental health services for people receiving care for three to 12 hours of treatment per week.

Columbia St. Mary’s can serve up to 65 mental health patients in those formats.

Columbia St. Mary’s laid off 25 therapists as part of the move to eliminate outpatient mental health services.

Henricks said he was not sure how much money the hospital system will save by eliminating the services.

"It’s anticipated there will be some cost savings," Henricks said.

Columbia St. Mary’s issued a request for proposals (RFP) for clinics to provide replacement services for the outpatient mental health services that were eliminated. Twelve clinics responded to a request for proposals issued by Columbia St. Mary’s.

Three replacement clinics were selected:

• Psychiatric Consultants and

Therapists, owned by Dr. Dinshah Gagrat, is replacing services that were provided at the Medical Arts building at 2015 E. Newport Ave., Milwaukee, on Columbia St. Mary’s Columbia campus.

• American Behavioral Clinics, owned by Dr. James Winston, is replacing services provided by Columbia St. Mary’s in Mequon.

• Comprehensive Counseling Services, owned by Tim Shininger, is replacing services provided by Columbia St. Mary’s outpatient services in Port Washington.

Columbia St. Mary’s will work with all of the clinics in the community, not just the three designated as the replacement clinics for its outpatient mental health services, Henricks said.

Some of the former Columbia St. Mary’s therapists have been hired by the replacement clinics. Columbia St. Mary’s decided to keep its psychiatrists on staff, but they will mostly be providing services at the replacement clinics.

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