Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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February 18, 2014

Report cites flaws in Va. mental health spending

RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia’s inspector general says the state is spending millions to hospitalize psychiatric patients who are ready to be shifted into less expensive community-based care.

According to the Office of State Inspector General’s new report, in 2012 Virginia spent more than $28 million to keep 161 patients in state mental hospitals even though they were ready for community services at 12 percent of the cost. That means patients are occupying hospital beds that could be used for people requiring emergency or long-term treatment.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch says the report further concludes that the state lacks adequate controls over funds meant to address the problem.

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