- Associated Press - Friday, January 20, 2017

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) - Community hospitals may start taking mental health patients from Washington’s crowded psychiatric hospitals if the state is offering to pay for the service.

The News Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/2jgyDjG ) that a bill expected to be introduced Friday to the Legislature would allow individual community hospitals to contract with the state to serve long-term mental health patients who currently get treatment at Western State of Eastern State Hospital.

Until recently, community hospitals have served short-term mental health patients but declined to take the more difficult long0term care patients. The hospital bill would incentivize local care.

Many in the Legislature say mental health patients are better served getting treatment closer to their homes than at the two large centralized regions.

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Information from: The News Tribune, http://www.thenewstribune.com

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