Oregon systems aim to revive suit over psychiatric care

Four health systems in Oregon are seeking to resurrect a lawsuit in which they contend the  state's inadequate mental healthcare system is causing them to be overburdened with psychiatric patients whom they're ill-equipped to care for, The Lund Report shared Dec. 7.

Portland, Ore.-based Legacy Health; Vancouver, Wash.-based PeaceHealth; Bend, Ore.-based St. Charles Health and Renton, Wash.-based Providence jointly filed the lawsuit last September, claiming Oregon Health Authority violated patients' civil rights by failing to provide enough treatment options. 

On Dec. 2, the health systems filed an appeal with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn a district judge's dismissal of the lawsuit this spring. 

The health systems claim they are caring for civilly committed patients for 120 days or longer, even though the inpatient acute care model is only designed to care for such patients for seven to 10 days. 

The appeal contends that Oregon Health Authority is legally obligated to provide care for civilly committed patients and that hospitals are only approved to provide short-term care for this patient population.

Read the full report here.

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