Pine Rest Opens Psychiatric Urgent Care Center Center to serve adults in acute psychiatric distress and improve access to care in West Michigan

Pine Rest Opens Psychiatric Urgent Care Center Center to serve adults in acute psychiatric distress and improve access to care in West Michigan

Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services opened its Psychiatric Urgent Care Center April 15, 2019. The center is designed to provide same-day assessment and treatment for people experiencing acute psychiatric symptoms who cannot wait for routine outpatient intervention.

Currently, there are no dedicated psychiatric urgent care services in West Michigan, forcing many patients into area emergency departments. This puts pressure on emergency departments to “board” psychiatric patients before they can be assessed and referred to an appropriate facility or provider for treatment. This delays treatment and increases costs.

A Psychiatric Urgent Care Center, paired with the existing continuum of behavioral health care available at Pine Rest and in the community, will help to address these problems.

“This center is part of our long-standing commitment to deliver services that meet the changing needs of our community,” said Pine Rest President and CEO, Mark Eastburg, Ph.D.

“In the last five years, Pine Rest has been very focused on improving access to behavioral healthcare and providing a wide range of alternatives to hospitalization,” Eastburg said. “As the comprehensive behavioral healthcare provider in West Michigan and the fourth largest behavioral healthcare organization in the United States, we’re well-positioned to fill this growing need.”

In 2016, Grand Rapids area hospitals had 14,623 behavioral health visits to their emergency departments. The Psychiatric Urgent Care Center is expected to significantly reduce wait times for psychiatric assessments and will provide much needed clinical services in a safe and calm environment for those experiencing acute psychiatric distress.

Initially the center will serve adults ages 18 – 65. Psychiatric symptoms assessed and treated include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Disturbing thoughts
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Acute grief reactions
  • Trouble managing daily activities
  • Substance use disorders

Those experiencing an acute medical issue should go to a medical urgent care or local emergency room.

“We have listened to community leaders and our healthcare partners to better respond to growing community needs. We are proud to see this first of its kind program come to West Michigan. By making this new mental health service a reality, we will make a significant and positive difference in individual lives,” said Megan Zambiasi, Pine Rest Psychiatric Urgent Care Center Director.

The center is utilizing current space in the Contact Center on the Pine Rest Cutlerville Campus. The pilot program serves adults 18 years and older and may expand to other age groups in the future. It will be open for assessments seven days a week: Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Most commercial insurance, Medicare and Medicaid health plans cover this service. People with Medicaid coverage should call ahead because some plans require authorization for services.

The Psychiatric Urgent Care Center is staffed by a multi-disciplinary team specifically trained to provide psychiatric assessments. The organization anticipates serving an average of 40 people per day.

This is expected to be Phase I of Pine Rest efforts to increase access to care and help alleviate emergency department boarding challenges throughout West Michigan. Pine Rest will use outcomes and data from this pilot to assess the feasibility of expanding services to children, adolescents and seniors.

For more information or to make an appointment, people can call the Psychiatric Urgent Care Center at 616.455.9200. Walk-ins are welcome as well. For more information about the center, go to www.pinerest.org/urgent.

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