“We treat over 2,000 patients a year — 37 have left our property in seven years,” Finley said. “That’s lower than average. These patients aren’t considered a danger to themselves or others. However, a fence would help ease some anxiety and we want to be good neighbors.”
Instead of expanding Cedar Ridge, Universal Universal Health Services Inc., the Pennsylvania-based company that owns Cedar Ridge, has instead opted to take over a closed psychiatric clinic owned by Bethany.
The facility was operated for 12 years by Deaconess Hospital before closing in February. Deaconess cited a decline in reimbursements and demand for inpatient hospital care for the closure.
Universal Health Services is in negotiations with the city of Bethany for a lease agreement to take over the psychiatric clinic at 7600 NW 23.
The Bethany clinic has 57 in-patient beds. Universal Health Services is going through state licensing process and hopes to reopen the Bethany clinic in about eight months, Finley said.
The recent loss of services at the Bethany clinic has exacerbated an already existing shortage of mental health beds in the metro area, according to several letters of support submitted to the Oklahoma City Planning Commission in support of Cedar Ridge’s application for an adult facility license.
Traci Cook, executive director of the Oklahoma Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, said in a letter of support it that sometimes can take days to place metro area patients in need of mental health services.
“I have no doubt that further limiting Oklahomans by shutting down an additional 36 psychiatric beds in the Oklahoma City metro area will push individuals who have mental illness back into our hospitals, jails and local community,” Cook said. “This will further cause financial burden and delays in treatment for those who desperately need it.”