While attempts to offer behavioral health services in an urgent care setting (or even using an urgent care approach) have failed to gain traction, that doesn’t mean the idea lacks merit. And with emergency rooms struggling with the dual burden of COVID-19 and staffing shortages, whatever community resources are available to decrease the need for people in a mental health crisis to head to the ED could be impactful. That’s exactly what’s happening in the Joplin, MO area according to a report aired by KSNF News. Since Urgent Behavioral Solutions (UBS) opened its doors a little over a year ago, there’s been an 11% decrease in mental health presentations to the nearest ED during UBS’s hours of operation. Some of the 2,000 patients who have visited walk in off the street because they feel the need for immediate care, while others are referred by physicians who can’t see a patient in time for a medication refill and the like. The center is staffed by clinical social workers, counselors, case managers, nurses, and nurse practitioners and is open at least 8 hours a day, 7 days a week. JUCM first flagged the prospect of providing mental health services in urgent care through an interview with an industry expert years ago. You can read Psychiatric Treatment as an Urgent Care Model in our archive.
With ED’s Slammed, a Behavioral Health Urgent Care Center Comes to the Rescue