CHLB Resumes Mental Health Care

By: 
Kirt Ramirez

As Community Hospital Long Beach prepares to reopen its emergency room in the coming months, the hospital also is resuming its role of caring for a number of psychiatric patients, like it did prior to closing in 2018.

The hospital’s new operator Molina, Wu, Network, LLC, (MWN), started reopening parts of the hospital last month after receiving approval from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).

“Before closing, Community Hospital provided 158 licensed acute care beds including 28 acute psych beds,” John Keisler, director of the Long Beach Economic Department, said through email.

“MWN has confirmed that the state has recently approved licensing for operating 28 acute psych beds.”

Keisler added that MWN confirmed that the hospital currently is treating psychiatric patients with the first psychiatric patient being accepted on Jan. 27.

Meanwhile, the hospital’s emergency room – the only ER on Long Beach’s eastside – is scheduled to reopen this spring.

“MWN has confirmed that they are planning for a mid-April opening of the emergency room (pending approval from CDPH) and will continue to treat behavioral health patients in addition to patients they receive at that ER as well as patient transfers from other acute care facilities,” Keisler said.

ER Has to Open

“As referenced in the presentation to City Council on October 15, 2019, the operation of a publicly accessible emergency room is a requirement of the agreement between the city and MWN.”

The City of Long Beach owns the land and hospital buildings and an agreement between the city and new operator MWN was reached in March 2019.

The hospital will not be accepting COVID-19 patients. But by receiving other patients, it’s expected that this will lessen the burden on area hospitals so that other facilities can better care for coronavirus patients.

kirt@beachcomber.news

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