- Associated Press - Friday, October 28, 2016

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A state panel has deadlocked again on a proposed 72-bed psychiatric hospital in Bettendorf.

Iowa’s State Health Facilities Council voted on the proposed hospital Thursday. This was the second time the panel deadlocked on the proposal from Strategic Behavioral Health LLC, according to the Quad-City Times (https://bit.ly/2fmNxXb ).

The region’s two major hospitals, Genesis Health System and UnityPoint Trinity, claim that allowing the proposed facility would undermine their own operations, which they said meet the need for behavioral services. Genesis stressed that since expanding its behavioral health services with a unit for children and adolescents, as well as new adult beds, there was no need for another hospital.

While Genesis said nobody has been turned away from its in-patient unit since the addition of more adult beds in July, Strategic director of development Michael Garone said Genesis has turned patients away multiple times in the past months.

The almost six-hour testimony Thursday included Genesis claiming Strategic’s poor safety record and violations at some of its facilities portrayed a problematic company. Strategic responded by saying that Genesis has dealt with similar issues, and that health care institutions often deal with challenging populations.

Much of the hearing dealt with whether the current need for in-patient beds is being met, as well as how to assess that. Garone said he didn’t like the “mudslinging” that the companies spoke to each other at the hearing, calling it a distraction from the main issues.

The next time that this issue could be heard again is February.

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Information from: Quad-City Times, https://www.qctimes.com


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