Bid for new psychiatric hospital denied

The battle among providers to establish more in-patient psychiatric beds in Snohomish County is down to two players — at least for now.

The state Department of Health turned down a request by Cascade Behavioral Hospital to open a $24.5 million, 80-bed psychiatric hospital at the corner of 23rd Drive SE and 220th Street SE in the Canyon Park neighborhood of Bothell.

Cascade is a wholly owned subsidiary of Acadia Healthcare Company, a Tennessee company that operates a network of 46 behavioral health facilities in 21 states.

In its denial, the state said that Cascade’s proposal had shortcomings. Among other things, it proposed charity care at a level below regional averages, and the state questioned some of Cascade’s financial assumptions.

Cascade was one of three for-profit companies hoping to add psychiatric units in Snohomish County. It has 28 days to file an appeal. Michael Uradnik, chief executive of Cascade Behavioral Health, declined to comment.

There’s only one place currently offering adult, in-patient psychiatric services to serve the county’s 745,913 people: a 23-bed unit at Swedish/Edmonds hospital. Most people who need in-patient psychiatric care have to leave the county to get it.

Ken Stark, director of the Snohomish County Human Services Department, said he was surprised by the state’s decision to turn down Cascade’s proposed 80-bed unit. “We know the need is there,” but no one knows exactly how many more beds are needed, he said.

Despite the Department of Health’s veto of the Bothell facility, two other in-patient psychiatric units are still planned, for Monroe and Smokey Point, and a third is about to open. Fairfax Hospital of Kirkland is scheduled to open a 30-bed adult psychiatric unit at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett.

If the Monroe and Smokey Point proposals are approved, the total number of psychiatric beds in the county could increase to 212 over the next few years.

Fairfax is seeking permission to open a second unit, with 34 beds, at Valley General Hospital in Monroe at a cost of $2.2 million. It would provide services to adults with severe psychiatric and medical issues as well as to geriatric populations.

US HealthVest received state Department of Health approval in January to open an $18.8 million, 75-bed unit in Smokey Point, but that decision is being challenged by two competitors, Cascade and Fairfax. Hearings on the challenge are scheduled in October.

US HealthVest also is asking for state approval to add another 50 psychiatric beds at a proposed Smokey Point facility at an additional cost of $3.28 million.

The competition to open in-patient psychiatric services is spurred in part by additional money available for mental health services through the federal Affordable Care Act.

Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486; salyer@heraldnet.com.

More in Local News

These little piggies stay home

Norman, who was spotted last week in Everett, is part of a trio kept as pets by the “pig whisperer.”

Cheering families welcome Kidd, Shoup after 6 months at sea

“I get back Daddy back today,” said one homemade sign at Naval Station Everett.

Stanwood man, 33, killed in crash near Marysville

Speed may have been a factor, the sheriff’s department said.

Street-legal ATVs approved for some roads near Sultan

Supporters foresee tourism benefits. Opponents are concerned about injury and pollution risks.

Jamie Copeland is a senior at Cedar Park Christian Schools’ Mountlake Terrace campus. She is a basketball player, ASB president, cheerleader and, of course, a Lion. (Dan Bates / The Herald)
Cedar Park Christian senior stepping up to new challenges

Jamie Copeland’s academics include STEM studies, leadership, ASB activities, honor society.

Woman, 47, found dead in Marysville jail cell

She’d been in custody about four days after being arrested on warrants, police said.

County plans to sue to recoup costs from ballot drop-box law

A quarter-million dollars could be spent adding 19 ballot boxes in rural areas.

Marilyn Carter (left) is president and Barbara Callaghan is vice president of the AOK Club at Washington Oakes Retirement Community in Everett. Carter personally funds much of the supplies for the club’s annual candy wreath fundraiser so that all sales proceeds can go to local charities. It’s just one of the club’s year-round activities to support local nonprofits. (Melissa Slager / The Daily Herald)
Circles of kindness

Residents of an Everett retirement community create candy wreaths as fundraisers.

County to contribute $1.6M to Everett’s low-barrier housing

The plan appears on track for the council to transfer the land ahead of next month’s groundbreaking.

Most Read