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There is a quiet tidal wave on the horizon

There is a quiet tidal wave on the horizon that will soon engulf rural healthcare. The aging population of the baby boomer era will demand healthcare services that are not the usual complement of services offered at most rural community hospitals. While you may understand the importance of Geriatric Behavioral Health programs, you might also be hesitant to pursue these services due to the costs of incorporating such programs. We invite you to consider Pioneer Health Services as a contracted provider of both inpatient and outpatient behavioral health. We have a proven track record of building and maintaining programs that both serve the community and provide an extra revenue source for the hospital. Call us for a free consultation.

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Is your hospital truly meeting the needs of the community?

It is estimated that over 50% of the U.S. population will experience a mental illness in their lifetime. Mental illness is not bound by age, race, gender, or even community populations, and for years treatment for residents in rural communities has been minimal at best. Pioneer Health Services’ Behavioral Health Programs were developed precisely to change this fact. Our service locations reside in cities with an average estimated population under 5,000. With the success that Pioneer gained in its own local markets, the company developed a specialized Behavioral Health Program for use in rural hospitals across the nation. Our program offers facilities the ability to incorporate behavioral health into their medical services mix either by turn-key contracted services or project specific consulting.
Treating the sleeping giant.
The demand for these services is great. The rural landscape of our country is faced with a quiet epidemic of mentally ill patients that are either undiagnosed or have no treatment options. For many of these patients the only real treatment option is to commute to a treatment center in the closest metropolitan area, which is not a realistic option for most. The vast majority of these patients cannot afford travel expenses or a lengthy visit at an out-of-town inpatient facility. Even if they are able to make the trek to a metropolitan area for professional help, it lacks the comforts of being close to home, and having family close by to aid in the treatment process. The idea behind our program is quite simple and also quite innovative – bring the service right to the patient. Most rural mentally ill patients have spent a lifetime within that single community. Treatment should not take them away from comforting surroundings and supportive family.

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With age comes wisdom and unfortunately, mental illness.

Like the rest of the country, the geriatric population in these rural communities is increasing and will continue to vastly increase in the years to follow. Some studies have shown that rural areas will experience a greater gain in geriatric population due to retirees seeking a slower, calmer lifestyle. Our program stands ready to meet the needs of elderly patients. In fact, our program is ahead of the curve in treating the geriatric mentally ill. Both our outpatient and inpatient programs are designed to provide specialized geropsych treatment. Why is this area of medical expertise so important?

  • Fewer people over age 55 (3%) are treated by a mental health professional than any other age group (American Association of Geriatric Psychiatry, 2001).
  • Adults over the age of 65 have the highest suicide rate of all age groups (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1999).

Specialized programs to meet the needs of the community

Pioneer Health Services Behavioral Health Division specializes in Geriatric/Senior care. The situations that plague the senior citizens of today’s society are very different than that of younger generations; therefore, they require a different approach to the intervention and treatment of their condition. Lack of socialization, change in environment, and loss of a loved one are a few of the issues that anguish this population. Our programs are designed to assist senior citizens in your community with the emotional distresses that inevitably affect members of that age group. The goal of our Geropsych Units is to provide assistance in resolving and/or relieving issues that disable and affect the day to day living of these patients.

In our experience, our Geropsych Units have proven to be beneficial to the community in other ways too. Through health fairs, speaking engagements, community events, and other social activities our community educator will begin breaking down barriers associated with mental health.

Big problems require bigger solutions

The initial objective of our Behavioral Health Programs is to meet the ever-growing needs of mentally ill patients within the regulated 35 square mile radius of a rural hospital. However, in most cases the program garners such overwhelming response from the community that many facilities find it useful to develop more than one location to fully service the entire community.

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Our Outpatient Psychiatric Program is a less restrictive treatment program that provides a structured environment of less than 20 hours of therapy per week. This tailored process centers around the needs of each patient which includes psychological, medical, environmental, and educational needs which are assessed/monitored at each meeting. The environment is an encouraging one that is designed to use the new skills learned in group sessions and then reviewed upon the next meeting to enhance treatment and improve independence. This program is often used as a continuum of care.

To highlight main points of the service, some facts about this unit include:

  • The Outpatient Psychiatric Program is specially designed to fit the needs of patients aged 65 and above-younger will be assessed on individual basis.
  • Program hours are 9 am to 2 pm Monday thru Friday.
  • Length of stay is determined on severity of illness.
  • Sample of the diagnosis treated: Depression, Anxiety Disorders, Psychosis, Bipolar Disorder, Phobias, Dementia.
  • The Outpatient Psychiatric Program requires around 2,000 square feet including a therapy room, lunch / activity room, and a private office for private individual sessions.

Our Inpatient Geropsych Unit is a program that provides an intensive treatment for older adults who have been diagnosed with acute psychiatric disorders. The patients suffering from these illnesses require the treatment of the Geropsych unit to provide them with a safe, non-threatening, structured approach to their stabilization. The unit provides an interdisciplinary team approach to treatment and is designed to treat individuals who have a variety of psychiatric and medical diagnoses from all backgrounds. Treatment provided includes individual, family, and group therapy along with health education and psycho education/training groups. All patients are encouraged to participate in therapies in order to gain an optimum level of functioning while in the program.

Our therapy and treatment plans are individually developed for each patient and include:

    • Individual counseling
    • Group counseling
    • Family counseling
    • Medication management

Call in the experts

It’s obvious there is a growing need for behavioral health services across the rural landscape of this country. And that patient need will continue to grow at an alarming rate in the next few years. Community need however, is not the only factor in building and sustaining a successful and profitable program. Our behavioral health programs are developed, tested and proven in the smaller rural markets. If behavioral health is the missing piece of your medical service line, call Pioneer Health Services for a free consultation.

Have questions about our Geriatric Behavioral Health Programs?
Just give us a call.
Malory M. Yelverton  |  Business Development
601-849-6440 ext.336  |  mmy@phscorporate.com