From Joanne Fuller, director of the Multnomah County Department of County Human Services, distributed June 26 2009
Multnomah County has been working to site, develop and fund a Crisis Treatment & Assessment Center (formally referred to as the sub acute mental health facility) for several years. This 16-bed secure facility would offer short-term mental health crisis stabilization for persons in acute mental health crisis who would benefit from an alternative to a costly hospitalization. Approximately six hundred individuals could be served each year. Each individual would stay in the center for up to ten days with an average length of stay of fewer than seven days. This facility has the potential to divert individuals not only from psychiatric hospitalization but also from inappropriate placement in jail. It would offer a less restrictive, more supportive and more welcoming environment for individuals who did not need the intensive medical services of a hospital. Individuals experiencing a mental health crisis would be referred by the police, other emergency responders and county mental health crisis services.
Developments within the Past Year : Recently Multnomah County entered into an agreement with Central City Concern (CCC) to utilize space in the Hooper Center at 20 NE Martin Luther King Boulevard as a Mental Health Crisis Assessment & Treatment Center (CATC) facility starting in fiscal 2011. CCC will be renovating the building for this purpose. The current plan calls for CCC to renovate the former Ramada Inn in the Rose Quarter as a housing and drug/alcohol detoxification facility. Once the Ramada is renovated, the detoxification program will be moved from the Hooper building to the Ramada. That will allow CCC to remodel Hooper so that sobering services remain on the first floor and the second floor becomes available for use as a CATC.
Multnomah County has provided CCC with $1 million for the part of the renovation of the Ramada. CCC plans to use $2 million provided by the Portland Development Commission for the Hooper remodel.. The Ramada renovation is underway and the planning for the Hooper remodel will begin in the summer of 2009. The county and CCC will complete a feasibility study of the Hooper site this summer and fall. That study will result in a detailed plan for the remodel of the Hooper facility including costs. The county, the city and other partners will seek additional funds if needed to fully cover the cost to remodel the Hooper building.
The county continues to work on identifying the operating funds for the CATC. The estimated total annual cost for operating the center would be $3.4 million. The county, in its role as an Oregon Health Plan Mental Health Organization (Verity) pays for hospitalization of its members when a member receives treatment at the Center. Verity will provide reimbursement. An estimated $1.6 million in Oregon Health Plan funding may be used for this service through Verity. Because the county is the payer of last resort for involuntary mental health hospitalization, the county may be able to utilize local funds currently used to pay for hospitalization for individuals that could be better served in the CATC than in the hospital. The county continues to meet with the State Department of Human Services regarding additional funding for the remodel of the Hooper Center and operations of the CATC services.
Because of its potential to divert individuals from jail and hospitalizations, the Mental Health Crisis Assessment & Treatment Center continues to be a high priority for the mental health system and other community stakeholders. The Local Public Safety Coordinating Council engaged in a thorough public safety planning process last year and the CATC was identified as a top priority in the final Public Safety Report.