“I had hoped that the double digit annual increases over the last several years would reverse to more normal levels,” stated Manatee Glens President and CEO Mary Ruiz. “Detox is up 87.5%. Even admissions for children and adolescents have increased 75 percent over the last three years.”
Manatee Glens stepped in and accepted more than 400 transfers a year from local hospital emergency rooms. These are patients who need mental health and addictions treatment. There are few, if any, other options for these adults and children. “Manatee Glens provides unique services in our community,” stated Dan Friedrich, president of Blake Medical Center. “If Manatee Glens can’t take these people, they will end up in an acute care hospital, such as ours. We provide medical care, but not the therapy and healing needed to break free of addiction. This leaves us providing custodial care for these patients which misuses our resources and is a disservice to the patient.”
Taxpayers also have benefited from an initiative implemented by Manatee Glens and Sheriff Brad Steube for mental health, alcohol and drug cases. Law enforcement transports directly to Manatee Glens for triage and admission to care. This and other diversion initiatives have reduced average jail census from 1300 to 1100 per day. An added benefit to public safety, law enforcement isn’t tied up with these cases and is free for call dispatch and patrol.
“Because of the partnership we have with Manatee Glens, people with mental health problems and addictions are receiving the urgent medical help they need. This is better for them than being put in jail. Treatment is also much better for the community and much less costly for taxpayers,” said Sheriff Brad Steube.
Manatee Glens has requested that the Manatee County Board of County Commissioners give special consideration to the January 2012 application for a $350,000 annual increase in detox services and a $195,000 increase in Baker Act Services effective October 1, 2012. Last year, County Commissioners increased Manatee Memorial Lakewood Ranch and Blake Hospitals a combined $1.4 million a year to cover the rising cost of care. In the same year, Manatee Glens received a reduction of about $69,000. County Commissioners plan a budget reconciliation workshop, at 9am Thursday July 26, 2012 in the Commission Chambers.
“Without an increase in county funding, this community is going to experience a decrease in services.” said Ruiz. “I really hope it doesn’t come to that. In a crisis, every family needs a place to turn.”
Manatee Glens is the specialty hospital and outpatient practice in Bradenton
treating mental health and addictions in youth, adults