Silver Springs mental health clinic likely to close
Nevada Appeal Staff Writer
Mental-health patients from Dayton and Fernley who were forced to obtain services at Silver Springs when their community mental health clinics closed, will have to move again.
Nevada Division of Mental Health and Developmental Services, Rural Clinics will close the Silver Springs clinic if the current budget proposals are approved by the Legislature, according to Susan Haut, regional director of Rural Clinics. If so, the clinic will close in July 2009.
She said that a new “hub and spoke” business model will allow the clinic to close with minimal impact to the patients.
The hubs will be Fallon, Sparks and Carson City, with patients given a choice as to which clinic they would utilize. Haut said transportation will be provided to those who don’t have access to a vehicle or public transit service.
“They have the choice of going to any of our centers,” she said. “The people that live on the Carson side of Silver Springs would choose to go to Carson and the people on the Fallon side would choose to go to Fallon.”
She also said that some services can be provided in the rural areas that don’t have a brick-and-mortar building by utilizing space from other state departments, schools or private medical facilities. However, she said, the department will not have someone in those facilities five days a week.
“Because of the budget shortfalls, we need to cut, and this is one of the ways we need to cut,” she said.
In September, the Dayton and Fernley clinics closed, and services were consolidated in Silver Springs, then thought to be a more central location.
But, Haut said, community leaders in Lyon County didn’t want the consolidation, they wanted all three clinics to stay open. Now, all three clinics will be closed.
A PowerPoint presentation Haut provided to town meetings in October showed that of 94 patients attending the Dayton clinic, 47 transferred to Carson City, 35 to Silver Springs, two to Fallon and 10 cases were closed.
In Fernley, of 88 patients, 39 transferred to Fallon, 29 to Silver Springs, four to Carson City and 16 cases were closed.
How many more patients the Fallon clinic can absorb is a question mark, since 605 hours of services are lost each month, according to the PowerPoint document, which also noted high turnover of psychiatrists statewide along with high overtime and
stand-by costs, and the loss of 24-hour crisis emergency service.
“We were instructed to develop a new business model,” she said. “That is what we’re doing with the hubs and spokes model.”
According to the PowerPoint, Rural Clinics will see a 5.3 percent decrease in its budget, from $18 million to $17 million for fiscal year 2009. For fiscal year 2010, a 13.4 percent decrease is expected, down to $15.6 million
– Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at email@example.com or call 881-7351.