Waukesha County Mental Health Center to transition into psychiatric hospital

WAUKESHA — The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has approved a proposal to turn the Waukesha County Institute for Mental Disease into a 16-bed psychiatric hospital.

The Waukesha County Mental Health Center requested the change, which will take effect on August 1.

As a health center, the facility was made up of 28 beds. Now, as a psychiatric hospital, that number will go down to 16.

According to a news release from the Waukesha County Department of Health, variables that influenced the reduction of beds include demand, capacity, efficiency, and utilization of psychiatric behavioral health services in the community.

The medical center had also been seeing a downward trend in the 5-year average daily census.

The change will also make the hospital “eligible to receive reimbursement from the Title 19 Medicaid program for services rendered to patients covered under Medicaid, reducing the burden on county funds.”

The Waukesha County Health Department said reducing the number of beds will also allow the center to close one wing of the building and remodel it as a Crisis Stabilization Unit, which is expected to open in 2024.

The unit would serve as a 24/7 intensive, short-term residential treatment for those suffering from a mental health emergency or substance use disorder crisis.

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