Closing state hospitals doesn't eliminate need for care
Take Virginia for instance. In 2006, the average length of stay for acute admissions to a state psychiatric hospital was 47.2 days compared to 5.4 days in community psychiatric inpatients beds. The abbreviated treatment provided in general hospital psychiatric beds may account for these hospitals’ “revolving doors” through which 3,514 patients passed 3 or more times in 2002 at a cost of about $111 million. Maybe closing state psychiatric hospital isn’t such a good thing – for patients or budgets.
Analysis of U.S. Trends in Discharges From General Hospitals for Episodes of Serious Mental Illness, 1995–2002, Shinobu Watanabe-Galloway, Ph.D. and Wanqing Zhang, M.D., M.Ed., Psychiatr Serv 58:496-502, April 2007