Bridgeway Center closing all inpatient services (GALLERY)

Published: Thursday, January 31, 2013 at 11:01 AM.

“The poor people that can’t afford this mental health care end up in our jails and hospitals, which creates an issue for us and they won’t get the treatment they need.”

Ashley said he anticipates the closings will add to calls for service, given the increase in Baker Act patients and suicide attempts the last few years. He said immediate plans on how best to handle the situation are being discussed.

Fort Walton BeachMedical Centeris the only other local health facility that offers crisis stabilization and detoxification services.

“As with everything, we’re taking a step back and assessing the situation,” said Mark Steinbauer, director of psychiatric services at the hospital. “We do expect increased traffic in our emergency department, but I don’t think we’re very concerned.

“We look at everything in terms of opportunity. It is our mission to provide optimal health for everyone. We will be supplying those services in the future in any way that we are able and need to. We’re excited about the possibilities.”

Bridgeway’s inpatient services treats 10 clients a day. Cobbs said some new payment plans would change the procedure to make it so that the agency only would be paid for beds occupied. That would mean even less money for the already-strapped healthcare agency.

For now, Cobbs said officials are disusing how to work with the void Bridgeway’s inpatient services will leave.



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