MA halts mental health admissions

Faced with substantial state budget cuts, the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health will stop accepting inpatient admissions to all state hospitals and psych units as of Wednesday. The state currently manages about 850 inpatient psych beds, but those are full. Clinicians will only be able to accept more patients when the patient population begins to recede. The closure comes in response to the elimination of 170 Department of Mental Health positions, taking place as part of Governor Mitt Romney's emergency budget cut. Romney's budget reduction also cuts the roster of staff caring for emotionally disturbed children and adolescents by 37 percent, along with dozens of inpatient nurses, psychiatrists and aides. The Massachusetts Hospital Association is publicizing the cuts in hopes of rallying public support for reversing the decision.

To find out more about the situation:
- read this Boston Globe article
- read this blog entry by Boston hospital CEO Paul Levy