Christie approves 26 facilities for opioid treatment bed increase

As part of Gov. Chris Christie’s fight against opioid abuse, an increase in inpatient psychiatric treatment beds was approved Friday.

Christie has called for 811 new adult care beds — with an additional 53 expected to be announced for three northwest counties — creating the largest capacity increase in 20 years.

More than two dozen hospitals, acute care and psychiatric, were approved by the state Department of Health to help fill the request, which was based on calculating 40 adult acute care psychiatric beds per 100,000 adults in each county.

“These new psychiatric beds represent a 40 percent increase in the total adult acute care beds currently available in New Jersey,” Christie said in a statement. “There is an immediate need for inpatient care so people can get the treatment they need to get better and return to their communities. We welcome these providers as partners in expanding much-needed mental health services.”

The move has been lauded by some, while others believe that care in outpatient settings is beneficial to patients and provides better recovery results.

Some of New Jersey’s health care providers are repurposing existing inpatient beds for psychiatric treatment.

According to Christie’s statement, the beds have to be available within two years. For psychiatric hospitals, within a year of being licensed, 5 percent have to be reserved annually for Medicaid patients and another 5 percent for uninsured patients.

Acute care hospitals are not held to any specifics, but will be required to accept all patients.

Of the 26 facilities approved, four need new construction:

  • Cumberland Behavioral Health LLC in Cumberland County;
  • Sunrise Psychiatric in Toms River;
  • Hampton Behavioral Health in Monmouth; and
  • Summit Oaks Hospital in Passaic County.

The other 22, of which 19 are acute care, are:

  • Newton Medical Center;
  • Saint Clare’s Hospital, Dover;
  • Morristown Medical Center;
  • RWJ University Hospital, Somerset;
  • Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care, Piscataway;
  • Raritan Bay Medical Center, Perth Amboy;
  • University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro;
  • University Medical Center of Princeton, Princeton House Behavioral Health Division;
  • Hampton Behavioral Health Center, Burlington;
  • Memorial Hospital of Salem County;
  • Inspira Medical Center, Elmer, Bridgeton and Woodbury;
  • Monmouth Medical Center;
  • Ocean Medical Center;
  • Bayshore Medical Center;
  • Summit Oaks Hospital, Union;
  • CarePoint Health, Bayonne Medical Center;
  • Clara Maass Medical Center;
  • Prime Healthcare Services, St. Mary’s Passaic;
  • Joseph’s Regional Medical Center, Paterson; and
  • Joseph’s Wayne Hospital.