#BreakingNews: Washington State Makes Historic Investment in Mental Health! 🏥💰 #TukwilaPsychiatricHospitalAcquisition

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Washington Purchases Closed Tukwila Psychiatric Hospital

Washington Purchases Closed Tukwila Psychiatric Hospital

State Department of Social and Health Services buys Cascade Behavioral Health Hospital

Washington has purchased a recently closed Tukwila psychiatric hospital, officials from the state Department of Social and Health Services announced Monday.

Acadia Healthcare closes hospital doors

DSHS is expected to pay $29.95 million for Cascade Behavioral Health Hospital, which was one of the state’s largest privately owned psychiatric hospitals until Tennessee-based owner Acadia Healthcare laid off staff, discharged its patients and shuttered the hospital doors at the end of July.

State takes possession of the hospital

The state expects to take possession of the hospital Aug. 15, said Tyler Hemstreet, spokesperson for DSHS.

Deal to expand psychiatric treatment capacity

The deal is intended to expand the state’s capacity to treat Washingtonians with serious psychiatric needs, Hemstreet said.

  • Acadia purchased the building more than a decade ago for about $43 million
  • Latest tax valuation for the property was about $19 million

Hospital to serve “civil conversion” patients

Under the auspices of DSHS, the hospital will serve 20 so-called “civil conversion” patients from Western State Hospital — people with criminal charges who, because of their possible danger to themselves or others, or because they are “gravely disabled,” are moved to the civil side of the legal system.

Relieving pressure on public psychiatric hospitals

The takeover of Cascade may free up some space at the state’s two public psychiatric hospitals, which Hemstreet said currently house some civil conversion patients.

Order to discharge civil conversion patients

The state was recently ordered by a federal judge to discharge or transfer many of the civil conversion patients from Western State, to make room for patients it’s required to care for under a long-standing legal settlement to keep people with severe mental illness from being warehoused in jails.

Ramping up patient population at Cascade

DSHS will eventually ramp up its patient population at Cascade, Hemstreet said, though he wasn’t sure when the hospital would be at full capacity.

Contract workers to staff the hospital

Contract workers will staff the hospital until permanent positions are created, Hemstreet said. It’s unclear whether some of the hospital’s former workers might be rehired.

Closure of Cascade impacts mental health care system

The closure of Cascade, which housed about 13% of King County’s involuntary mental health beds, dealt a significant blow to a behavioral health care system that’s already strained by workforce shortages and low bed capacity.

Seattle Times reporter Esmy Jimenez contributed reporting.

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