GHS, Acadia announce new mental hospital

GREENVILLE, SC – Greenville Health System (GHS) and Acadia Healthcare announced today that the two organizations are forming a joint venture to enhance and expand behavioral health services in the Upstate. The unique partnership will leverage GHS’ experience as a leading healthcare provider and Acadia’s specific expertise and successful track record of operating high-quality inpatient behavioral health facilities to benefit the Upstate community.

GHS and Acadia will jointly invest approximately $64 million in a new 80,000-square foot inpatient behavioral health hospital. The new hospital, which is slated to open in March 2018, will be built on GHS’ Greenville Memorial Medical Campus and replace the aging Marshall I. Pickens Hospital (MIPH). It will feature 120 inpatient beds – 52 more than what is currently available at MIPH – and a number of services, including alcohol and substance abuse inpatient services, geropsychiatry, adolescent psychiatry, children’s residential treatment, intensive outpatient therapy and partial hospitalization.

“We have made significant investments in our psychiatric department over the past several years, including hiring more providers, expanding outpatient services, more closely coordinating care with non-psychiatric providers and establishing a residency program. However, as we move toward a population health-based model of care, we need to do more to ensure the health and well-being of those we serve. This partnership, which would not have been possible under our previous governance structure, gives us the ability to maximize our resources and bring together the strengths of both GHS and Acadia to enhance and expand much-needed behavioral health services in our community,” said Mike Riordan, CEO of the Strategic Coordinating Organization for GHS.

“When healthcare providers remain committed to working together and leveraging complementary strengths, patients always win. We are proud to partner with GHS, a healthcare leader in South Carolina, to bring the successes we’ve seen with other recent joint ventures to bear for the Upstate community,” said Joey Jacobs, Acadia chairman and CEO.
Mental illness is a major public health issue for both the Upstate community and nation. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), one in four adults experiences mental illness in a given year, and one in 17 live with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia, major depression or bipolar disorder.

The direct cost to treat and support mental illness is approximately $55 billion a year according to the American Psychological Association. With behavioral health services in short supply across the nation, many mentally ill patients find their way to the hospital through the emergency room – one of the most costly places to provide care.

“By working with Acadia to expand our behavioral health services, we can reduce the need for related emergency room visits and give our patients greater choice in where they turn for care. We can also better address co-occurring conditions that often accompany behavioral health needs, such as compliance with care plans, sedentary lifestyles, smoking and other dependencies,” said Dr. Ken Rogers, medical director of behavioral health services and chair of the department of psychiatry at GHS. “This partnership is a bold step in the right direction to making behavioral health services more easily accessible, and as always, available to all patients regardless of their ability to pay. I am grateful to our boards for creating our new, strengthened governance structure and to local leaders and elected officials for supporting it. It is unique partnerships like this that will propel GHS into the future and enable us to remain a healthcare leader for our community and region.”

In the coming months, GHS and Acadia will work through the appropriate processes to bring the vision for more robust and comprehensive behavioral health services to life. The next step is for the two organizations to prepare and submit a Certificate of Need (CON) application for the new hospital. Once approved, the joint venture will assume management of day-to-day operations of MIPH, including approximately 150 clinical and support staff members, and eventually operations of the new hospital. GHS will retain clinical oversight over all clinical programs at MIPH and the new hospital.

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