The company abandons its plan for a psychiatric hospital in Wilsonville
Universal Health Services is abandoning its plan for a psychiatric hospital in Wilsonville due to what it called “untenable” conditions imposed on the project by state regulators.
The company informed the Oregon Health Authority on Friday that it was withdrawing its proposal to build a $50 million, 100-bed facility that it said would help alleviate the region’s dearth of treatment options for sufferers. of mental illness. Critics, however, said a suburban facility would do little to cater to the urban population most in need of mental health care.
“We know the need is great for high-quality mental health services in Oregon,” said Ron Escarda, Universal’s Pacific Northwest Group Director. “However, given the conditions and limitations imposed which are untenable, we have made the difficult decision to withdraw from the CON (certificate of need) process.”
Among the requirements for state approval was an agreement that 45% of the new hospital’s bed capacity would serve patients legally committed to stay in a psychiatric facility for a period of time. Since the people who were interned generally have low incomes, this requirement would have had major financial implications.
Universal’s decision to pull the plug surprised state officials. The company had submitted an amended business plan intended to address the state’s concerns. And the Oregon Health Authority had given tentative approval to the plan.
It’s unclear what motivated Universal. Company officials could not be reached.
Meanwhile, the shortcomings of the state’s mental health treatment system are noticed. In its annual state-by-state assessment of mental health in this country, the advocacy group Mental Health America ranked Oregon 46th in the nation in terms of overall mental health and access to quality care.